I the only one, apart from the usual circle of playa-hatin' traditionalists,
who thinks this Champions League idea is pretty idiotic? I guess it was bound
to happen -- once the Indian Premier League became a hit, organisers would start believing that the analogy between English football and Twenty20 cricket
holds to something beyond the names of the tournaments. Hence the Twenty20 Champions League.
First of all, nothing that lasts 10 days can be called a "league".
Second, the idea behind any kind of tournament pitting champions from different leagues against each other is to maximise the quality of competition and to have the greatest collection of international talent gathered in one place at one time. A cricket Champions League would do just the opposite.
The UEFA Champions League is a viable tournament because there are enough powerful, loaded teams in Europe to warrant a supranational, long-term competition on top of the domestic leagues. It's essentially a way to get Real Madrid and AC Milan to play against Manchester United and Bayern Munich. This format works because all these teams are roughly comparable in terms of talent, richness of history, infrastructure, etc.
Cricket's talent pool, however, is not nearly deep enough to sustain a handful of different domestic leagues, plus a champions league on top of that. The IPL itself was supposed to be the way to concentrate the available talent and put it the one place. That's the league's main attraction -- not the fact that it's in India or that it makes it rain sixes -- but the fact that the best players are all in it. (Or, at least, will be in it. That's something that kept this first edition of the IPL from being even bigger than it was: the lack of English players and the departure of top-level Aussies, Kiwis and West Indians halfway through.)
I think the motivation behind it all can be found in one particular sentence in the above article:
It was also agreed, verbally, between the boards that foreign players will turn out for their local teams in the tournament. That undertaking was sought by the England and Australia boards at a meeting in Singapore. [Italics mine]
Well, of course it was. Cricket Australia and the ECB, the two other powers with any kind of pull internationally, surely realise that there's no chance in hell they'd be able to compete with the IPL's mafia money and its Bollywood starlet-whore glitz in the long run, so the best way they have to cash in on the Twenty20 explosion is to undermine the league's credentials and push for the creation of a new, "ultimate" league. A "league of champions", where they get as big a say as the BCCI or any other organisation around. (Well, except for those in Sri Lanka, and New Zealand, and Bangladesh, and Pakistan...)