Champions League Twenty20

Champions League Twenty20 Logo

The Champions League T20 was developed as an international cricket event to be played between the best domestic teams from the top cricketing countries. This event initially started out very positively.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of consistent multinational engagement, the tournament didn’t survive for long. Despite this, the tournament was action-packed and gave those that did watch, a truly exciting time.

The Birth of The Champions League T20

The IPL was a huge success in India. Soon after the first season of IPL, cricket boards developed the concept of the CLT20. The BCCI, alongside Cricket South Africa and Cricket Australia, organized the tournament in 2008. The top two teams of each domestic league participated in the first edition of the tournament.

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The Excitement Around The Champions League T20

Initially, when the heavyweights of the top domestic leagues competed, it appeared to be a delightful watch for fans. It followed in the footsteps of the IPL in terms of promotions and style of play.

Several Bollywood celebrities were featured promoting the CLT20 which increased the ratings and viewership. The most famous of them was Shah Rukh Khan who was the brand ambassador of the CLT20 2010.

The Inaugural Season of The Champions League T20

In 2009, India hosted the tournament which had round-robin and knockout stages. Twelve top teams from seven different domestic T20 leagues participated in the first edition.

Teams participating in the first CLT20 belonged to the top-tier cricketing nations. The prize for the winner was $2.5 million while the runner-ups took $1.6 million of cash prize.

The Success of Champions League T20

ESPN Star Sports signed an ownership contract of $900 billion for global viewership of the CLT20 matches. The CLT20 allowed international players to play in the nation's domestic leagues.

Some big names such as Chris Morris, Sunil Narine, and Kevon Cooper earned their first big contracts due to their superb performance in the CLT20.

Champions League T20 Format

In the 2011 edition, a qualifier round was added to make the league more competitive and long-lasting. Top 2 (3 in some) teams from the major domestic leagues participated in the CLT20. In 4 editions, more than 3 Indian teams went through because the league was focused to appeal to Indian fans.

Summary of Champions League T20

2009 CLT20

India hosted the first-ever edition of the CLT20 in which 12 teams participated. New South Wales became the first titleholder of the tournament by defeating Trinidad and Tobago.

Player of the series - Brett Lee

Most runs - JP Duminy (224)

Most wickets - Dwayne Bravo (12)

2010 CLT20

The second edition of the tournament was hosted by South Africa. Unlike 2009, this time, 10 teams participated from different domestic T20 leagues. The song “I Like It” was the official song of the 2010 CLT20.

Winners - CSK

Player of the series - Ravichandran Ashwin

Most runs - Murali Vijay (294)

Most wickets - Ravichandran Ashwin (13)

2011 CLT20

India hosted the tournament in 2011. With few changes in format, 13 teams joined the tournament. Only 10 of them reached the group stage. In total, 29 matches were played among these teams.

Winners - MI

Player of the series - Lasith Malinga

Most runs - David Warner (358)

Most wickets - Ravi Rampaul (13)

2012 CLT20

The first time, an Australian team dominated this tournament. South Africa hosted the tournament for the second time. In the qualifiers, 14 teams participated but only 10 managed to reach the group stage.

Winners - Sydney Sixers

Player of the series - Mitchell Starc

Most runs - Michael Lumb (226)

Most wickets - Mitchell Starc (14)

2013 CLT20

For the third time in 5 years, India hosted the CLT20. Previous winners (SS) failed to qualify for the tournament. Only 12 teams competed in this edition and 10 of them reached the group stage.

Winners - MI

Player of the series - Dwayne Smith (223)

Most runs - Ajinkya Rahane (288)

Most wickets - Pravin Tambe (12)

2014 CLT20

This was the final edition of the tournament. To bid farewell, India was chosen to host the league. In the 2014 edition, 12 teams participated, but it was hugely dominated by the Indian players.

Winners - CSK

Player of the series - Suresh Raina (234)

Most runs - Suresh Raina (234)

Most wickets - Sunil Narine (12)

Records and Stats of The Champions League T20

CSK alongside MI are the only two teams to win the tournament twice. Otago Volts posted the highest team score (242/4) of the tournament in 2013 against the Perth Scorchers.

Suresh Raina scored 842 runs in 24 matches. Mystery spinner Sunil Narine took 35 wickets in 18 matches but the best bowling performance (5/22) was produced by Pawan Negi.


Although the lifespan of the CLT20 was short, nonetheless, it united the T20 world. Players of different origins played together on a global stage. Cricket fans enjoyed it to the fullest. When you look back at these matches, you certainly feel that there is an impressive history and unmatched moments of T2O cricket.

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Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.