2023 seems to be a watershed moment for franchise cricket leagues—SA 20, IL T20, MLC 2023, Zim Afro T10, and the revival of Global T20 Canada.
Feel like you can’t keep track anymore? Well don’t worry, we are here to help you.
There are 15 professional leagues in cricket, from which 13 are franchise leagues and two are domestic T20 competitions that attract a variety of overseas stars (Vitality Blast, Super Smash). From the 13 franchise leagues, two are T10, one is in the ‘hundred’ format, while the other 10 are twenty20 competitions.
In 2023, October is the only without any major cricket league competition since October 5 – November 19 is reserved for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
From November 23, 2022 to September 24, 2023, there were only 20 days where franchise cricket was not scheduled (December 5-12, March 19-30).
If we count all the date ranges for the 15 major T20 tournaments, there were 509 days of cricket (greater than 365 because several leagues are now overlapping with each other. Also domestic tournaments like the Vitality blast tend to be spread out longer with breaks. Actual cricket might not be played every day).
Cricket Leagues Calendar – By Season
November-February: Abu Dhabi T10, Big Bash League (BBL), Super Smash, Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), South Africa T20 (SA T20), International League T20 (ILT20)
February-May: Pakistan Super League (PSL), Indian Premier League (IPL)
May-July: The Vitality Blast (also good time for a World Cup window), TNPL
July-September: Major League Cricket, Global T20 Canada, The Hundred, Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Shpageeza Cricket League*, Road Safety World Series, Maharaja T20 Trophy
October: Window for world tournament (or…Champions League), Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
18. Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL): June 12 – July 12
Number of Seasons Played: 7 (2016-)
Number of Teams: 8
Days Played: 31
*regional T20 league
19. Karnataka Premier League (Maharaja Trophy T20): August 14 – August 30
Number of Seasons Played: 8 (2009-)
Number of Teams: 6
Days Played: 17
*regional T20 league
20. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: October 16 – November 6
Number of Seasons Played: 15 (2006-)
Number of Teams: 38
Days Played: 22
*domestic T20 league, but gaining prominence over the years
List of Defunct Cricket Leagues
Euro T20 Slam, Mzansi Super League (South Africa), KFC Twenty20 Big Bash (Australia), Inter-Provincial Twenty20 (Sri Lanka), Stanford 20/20 (West Indies)
Leagues are propping everywhere, World Cups are now sandwiched between the leagues, and bilateral cricket is going nowhere.
The ODI Super League is now extinct (although Netherlands’ brilliance might force a rethink), the World Test Championship shows promise, but could be improved. The haphazard year-around schedule impacts logistics, mental health, injury management, and causes early retirements.
Until a stable international cricket calendar is formed, we will have to form the cricket calendar according to the franchise leagues, with the Indian Premier League in the center as the marquee event.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many T20 leagues are there in cricket?
There are 15 T20 leagues in cricket – 10 T20 franchise leagues, 2 T10 leagues, 1 ‘hundred’ ball tournament, and 2 domestic T20 competitions.
How many franchise leagues are there in cricket?
There are 13 franchise leagues in cricket (10 T20, 2 T10, and The Hundred).
PSL finished its post-COVID leg of the tournament, and the IPL will soon have its post-COVID leg in the UAE ending just a few days before the T20 World Cup begins. The BCCI has even proposed a 10-team IPL or two IPLs in a year from next year.
Where does this stop? T10 & T20 leagues are popping left and right. Tournaments beginning, stopping, and resuming whenever they feel like. What is the result? Debatable rotation policies, career-threatening injuries, early retirements, and players choosing leagues over international cricket.
Champions League T20 (CLT20) was an intriguing experiment held between 2009-2014 that unearthed stars like Kieron Pollard. Modeled on European football, what could possibly go wrong when the best T20 teams in the world competed together?
Yet, even with such good intentions, the tournament failed—Cluttered international calendar, revenue shortfall, growing success of the IPL, and the initial failure of other leagues were prominent factors.
The strength of the IPL contract meant that if a player represented multiple teams that qualified, they would be obligated to play for their IPL team.
By 2013-14, it was evident that the Indian Premier League was miles ahead. In 2013 (MI vs RR) & 2014 (CSK vs KKR) editions, both finalists were IPL teams. In 2014, 3 out of the 4 semifinalists were IPL teams (KXIP). The domestic teams from Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and South Africa failed to get this far after a decent show between 2009-2012.
CLT20 catered towards the IPL, and that is why it failed.
Why is the Revival of the Champions League Needed?
Seven years later, it is time to rethink the T20 calendar. The Big Bash is now a decade old. CPL & BPL are 8 years strong. PSL is 5 years old, and even Sri Lanka, South Africa, and England have formed stable leagues.
Half a decade ago, there were just a few T20 specialists—Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge, AB De Villiers, Yusuf Pathan, and the World Cup winning West Indies generation. Now we have T20 specialists everywhere like Babar Azam, Tom Banton, Finn Allen, Dawid Malan, Tim Seifert, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, James Vince, Alex Hales, Paul Stirling, David Wiese, Rovman Powell—talented players that do not make the XI or even squads of the IPL teams.
Last year, Trinbago Knight Riders were undefeated to their CPL title –12 consecutive wins. Imagine a TKR versus Mumbai Indians Champions League battle? Will be a cracker of the contest if it is a fair contest—Which team does Trinbago’s captain Pollard play for?
How Can The International and T20 Calendar Coexist?
Here are some possible solutions:
If the player is contracted by a national team, they should be obligated to represent their domestic T20 league in case of a conflict. Hence, Pollard would play for TKR instead of MI.
For a nationally contracted player, maximum of 3 leagues per year should be enforced. This would keep conflicts to a minimum.
Boards should accept responsibility and postpone the league till next year’s window in case the league is suspended.
This would lead to an interesting mix of international players in the leagues. Since NZ/Australia do not play much between June-October, players might choose IPL-the Hundred/CPL-BBL, while English players might choose PSL-IPL-The Hundred.
The Ideal Cricket Calendar
ICC has announced its tournament calendar for the next eight years. Each year, either a T20 WC, ODI WC, World Test Championship Final, or Champions Trophy will occur. A couple of months should be sidelined as the pinnacle of the international calendar.
Here is how the T20 calendar stands so far:
Bangladesh Premier League (BPL)
January – February
Pakistan Super League (PSL)
February – March
Indian Premier League (IPL)
March – May
Global T20 Canada (GT20)
June – July
T20 Vitality Blast
July – September
July – August
Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
August – September
Shpageeza Cricket League/ Afghanistan Premier League (APL)
September – October
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
November – December
Lanka Premier League (LPL)
November – December
Mzansi Super League (MSL)
November – December
December – January
Big Bash League (BBL)
December – February
If the Champions League needs to be revived, September-October is an ideal month subject to the dates of world tournaments that year.
The debate between T20 leagues and international cricket is over. The leagues are here to stay, so why not coexist in a peaceful manner? At the moment, everything is disorganized, so why not organize it for the greater good of cricket.
Champions League History (2009-2014)
# of Teams (# of Nations)
New South Wales (AUS)
Trinidad and Tobago (WI)
New South Wales, Victorian Bushrangers (AUS) Sussex Sharks, Somerset Sabres (ENG) Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils (IND) Otago Volts (NZ) Cape Cobras, Diamond Eagles (SA) Trinidad and Tobago (WI) Wayamba (SL)
Chennai Super Kings (IND)
Victorian Bushrangers, Southern Redbacks (AUS) Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore (IND) Central Districts Stags (NZ) Warriors, Highveld Lions (SA) Wayamba Elevens (SL) Guyana (WI)
Mumbai Indians (IND)
Royal Challengers Bangalore (IND)
Southern Redbacks, New South Wales Blues (AUS) Somerset (England) Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians (IND) Warriors, Cape Cobras (SA) Trinidad and Tobago (WI)
Yes everybody, just 4 months after Karachi Kings lifted the PSL trophy (due to COVID interruption), we are back at it. Pakistan Super League 2021 is already making some noise—with “Groove Mera” anthem, entire tournament held in Pakistan, and the allowance of 20% crowd capacity.
With a Pakistan limited overs side on the rise and the upcoming T20I World Cup later this year, PSL 6 has additional context, both for Pakistani players and international recruits wanting to prove a point.
Babar Azam Vs Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan Vs Faheem Ashram, Hasan Ali Vs Haider Ali
These are just some of the in-form star players that will be on show. Talent galore and good cricketing all around.
Here is a quick summary of everything you need to know about the PSL 6: Teams, Dates, Fixtures, Coaching Staff, Commentators, predictions, and more!
Matches: 34 (6 teams, 10 matches each, double round robin, top 4 qualify for playoffs)
Venues: Gaddafi Stadium (Lahore), National Stadium (Karachi)
Commentators/Presenters: Pommie Mbangwa (Zimbabwe), Alan Wilkins (Wales), Simon Doull, Danny Morrison (New Zealand), David Gower, Dominic Cork (England), Rameez Raza, Zainab Abbas, Urooz Mumtaz, Sana Mir, Bazid Khan, Sikander Bakht, Tariq Saqeed (Pakistan)
Multan Sultans: 2020 (3rd), 2018, 2019 (5th) (*Franchise did not exist before 2018 season).
PSL 6: Teams & Expected Playing XI
With Australia’s T20I tour of New Zealand, Sri Lanka’s tour of West Indies, Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand, and the limited overs leg of India vs England, there are several players who withdrew or will be only staying for a short time.
*Teams highlighted in their respective jersey colors
Pakistan Internationals: Shadab Khan (C), Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Ifthikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Musa, Zafar Gohar
Pakistan Domestic: Ahmed Safi Abdullah, Mohammad Wasim, Rohail Nazir, Zeeshan Zameer
Foreign Recruits: Ali Khan (USA), Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Alex Hales, Lewis Gregory, Phil Salt (England), Paul Stirling (Ireland)
*Withdrawn: Reece Topley (England), Chris Jordan (England), Colin Munro (New Zealand), Akif Javed
I am looking forward to the international contingent—Ben Dunk, Samit Patel, David Wiese, and Rashid Khan. David Wiese was instrumental to Qalandars’ runners up campaign last time around, and the same is expected this season.
Lahore Qalandars Expected XI:
Fakhar Zaman, 2. Sohail Akhtar (C), 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Ben Dunk, 5. Samit Patel, 6. David Wiese, 7. Rashid Khan, 8. Haris Rauf, 9. Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10. Dilbar Hussain, 11. Muhammad Faizan
I am looking forward to the finishing power. If the top order can set the platform, Shoaib Malik, David Miller, and Ravi Bopara can be a handful.
Peshawar Zalmi Expected XI:
Imam-ul-Haq, 2. Haider Ali, 3. Kamran Akmal (WK), 4. Shoaib Malik, 5. David Miller, 6. Ravi Bopara, 7. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8. Saqib Mahmood, 9. Wahab Riaz, 20. Mohammad Irfan, 11. Umaid Asif
Pakistan Internationals: Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/WK), Anwar Ali, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Shinwari, Zahid Mahmood (1 T20I)
Pakistan Domestic: Azam Khan, Arish Ali Khan, Abdul Nasir, Hassan Khan, Saim Ayub, Usman Khan
Foreign Recruits: Chris Gayle (West Indies), Faf du Plessis, Dale Steyn, Cameron Delport (South Africa), Tom Banton (WK) (England), Ben Cutting (Australia), Qais Ahmed (Afghanistan)
Coaching Staff: Moin Khan (Head Coach), Viv Richards (Batting Coach), Umar Gul (Bowling Coach), Julian Fountain (Fielding Coach)
I am looking forward to see how the Umar Gul mentored team with international stars like Dale Steyn and Ben Cutting is going to impact the likes of Naseem Shah & Mohammad Hasnain.
Quetta Gladiators Expected XI:
Chris Gayle, 2. Faf du Plessis, 3. Tom Banton/Cameron Delport, 4. Azam Khan, 5. Sarfaraz Ahmed (C/WK), 6. Ben Cutting/Dale Steyn, 7. Anwar Ali, 8. Naseem Shah, 9. Mohammad Hasnain, 10. Mohammad Nawaz, 11. Usman Shinwari
Key Match Ups To Watch Out For
40 is the new 30 feat Shahid Afridi & Chris Gayle: These two have been playing cricket for over two decades. Whenever you think they are done, they will come back with a man-of-the-match performance. Also add the newly retired from Test cricket, Faf du Plessis to the list of prominent veterans.
Prove a point with a bang feat Alex Hales & Paul Stirling:Alex Hales, once again ignored from the England national set up (despite most runs in the Big Bash) and Paul Stirling, ignored from the IPL auctions (despite being the best ODI batsman over the last year), find themselves together as opening pair for the Islamabad United. No better time to prove your critics wrong.
Mohammad Amir Vs The Rest of The World: Amir controversially announced in a statement that he is still available to play for Pakistan, although it is unlikely to happen under the current management. Will he walk the talk?
Pakistan Super League 2021 Predictions
Finally here are my predictions.
My prediction for the team to lift the PSL 6 trophy is….Islamabad United with the Top 4 of Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans, and Peshawar Zalmi.
Green Cap (Most Runs): Mohammad Rizwan
Maroon Cap (Most Wickets): Hasan Ali
Emerging Player: Rohail Nazir
Surprise Package: Paul Stirling
Broken Cricket Dream: Shahid Afridi finally retires? Like really.
Here were my Pakistan Super League 2021 Predictions. What did you think? What are YOUR predictions? Comment Below!