That is exactly what it is turning out to be.
If one saw the advertisement bonanza for the forthcoming Champions League Twenty20, one would have imagined the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa was a mere domestic affair. Such was the hoopla involved around the tournament that slots were specially designed to accommodate the hype for the spin off of the IPL.
But the Champions League Twenty20 has not been an assured success yet, albeit the IPL has certainly turned money on its head. With many domestic teams from various cricket boards involved, the event needed to be pumped up to generate interest amongst Indian crowds and even television viewers abroad.
But the CL T20 is already suffering from star power, or rather, the lack of it. First it was Graeme Smith, the South African captain, who it was announced in the immediate aftermath of South Africa’s exit in the ICC Champions Trophy that he would not captain the Cape Cobras and instead undergo further rehabilitation for his hand and elbow.
If that was not enough, there were murmurings about AB de Villiers which was soon confirmed as Cricket South Africa did not want to take a chance with one of their leading batsmen in current international cricket who pulled up with a backache, the extent of which is still unclear.
Then Paul Collingwood, the reluctant starter for the Delhi Daredevils, threw the Daredevils in further turmoil with a buttock strain that will now most definitely ensure that he will not be crossing ground to India. Strange that Marcus Trescothick though is excited about the prospect of coming to India with Somerset!
The Daredevils will feel unlucky now that the New Zealand captain and one of the world’s leading spinners, Daniel Vettori, missed the ICC Champions Trophy final against Australia with a hamstring injury which has effectively ruled him out of the CL T20. His place will now be taken by Australia’s Glenn McGrath who himself is weighing his future with the Daredevils given that he was benched all of IPL 2 in South Africa.
Kevin Pietersen too will not turn up for the Royal Challengers Bangalore with a busted knee as is Australia’s Nathan Bracken for the New South Wales Blues (NSW) who are incidentally interested in signing on Yuvraj Singh for their Big Bash Twenty20 tournament in Australia later this year.
Is Lalit Modi silently say a prayer – no more injuries, please?