Several leagues of Cricket have been introduced to the world of Cricket. These include the Invicta Cricket League, the ICC World Cricket League, and the Indian Premier League.
Indian Premier League
Founded in 2007, the Indian Premier League is a professional Twenty20 cricket tournament. It is organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and is contested by ten teams from seven different Indian cities.
The format of the IPL is similar to that of the English Premier League. Each team plays two games against an equivalent team in the other group. If they lose, they receive one point. Similarly, if they win, they get two points.
Teams are ranked by seedings. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs. The winner of the first round advances to the semi-finals. The winner of the semi-finals then progresses to the final.
During the first season of the IPL, the Lucknow SuperGiants won nine matches and qualified for the playoffs. However, the team did not play its home games in a location that it was willing to pay for.
In the third season, two new teams were added to the IPL. These were Pune and Kochi. The latter was bought by CVC Capital for Rs5,200 crore.
ICC World Cricket League
ICC World Cricket Liga is an international cricket competition which provides regular playing opportunities for ICC Associate Members. The league was founded in 2007 and has five divisions. Teams are promoted and relegated between the divisions. The top two teams in each division qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup. The bottom two teams are relegated to the ICC Cricket World Challenge League.
The ICC World Cricket League is organised by the International Cricket Council. It is a global organization that administers major international tournaments and sets professional standards of cricket discipline. It has 105 member nations and 93 associate nations.
Each country is eligible to participate in the league. Six associates were assigned One Day International status in 2005. The top non-Test nations were ranked from 11 to 30 in late 2005. The International Cricket Council used the results of the 2005 ICC Trophy. It uses an Anti-Corruption and Security Unit to monitor match officials. It also uses a Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process to determine if a pitch is fit for use.
Invicta Cricket League
Founded in 2010, the Invicta Cricket League is a relatively new addition to the sporting fraternity, but its roots go back a couple of centuries. It is a group of 10 teams that play each other twice in a Twenty20 competition. Some of these teams are sponsored by the corresponding Invicta Cricket Club, while others are self-funded. A few of the bigger clubs, such as Maidstone Cricket Club and the Kent County Cricket Club, have also joined up to bolster their chances of staying in business. The league is a grueling nine months of action, but the sheer amount of entrants makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
For a few lucky teams, the league is a great way to get out of the house in a relatively hassle-free manner. Aside from the usual fixtures, the league boasts a winter season centered around indoor training sessions. The biggest prize of the lot is the prestigious Thomas Becket Cup, which is awarded to the team that finishes in the top half of the table.
Impact of T20 leagues
Whether international T20 cricket has improved the standard of the game is a matter of debate. While the competitions are comparable to the concurrent established competitions, they are still not the highest standard of T20.
International teams have faced an increasing challenge from the domestic talent pool. Many of the best players in the world have turned their backs on the international scene in favor of domestic T20.
The quality of the domestic talent pool varies from country to country. The popularity of cricket, the population size, and the sporting infrastructure also play a role.
As the ICC continues to deal with the influx of T20 leagues, it is important to keep in mind that not all of these competitions are created equal. For example, some of the older T20 leagues are not able to attract top overseas players.
On the other hand, newer T20 leagues rank higher in terms of their overall standing. The Caribbean Premier League, the Big Bash League, and the Lankan Premier League all attract bigger names and high quality players.