ICC Champions Trophy is set to return for the first time next year since 2017 when Pakistan won it beating arch-rivals India in the final. The tournament is scheduled to be played February and March and it is set to post challenges to certain T20 leagues in terms of scheduling. The tournament will be hosted by Pakistan but things can change due to perceived refusal of permission by the Indian government for team India.
While that issue is likely to be addressed sooner or later, the cricket boards hosting T20 leagues have a lot of headache in terms of scheduling their tournaments next year. The schedule of Champions Trophy is yet to be announced but the window identified for the tournament is set to cause trouble to SA20, International League T20 (ILT20), Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL). Moreover if these tournaments are rescheduled, then it will also affect the Big Bash League (BBL) in terms of player availability.
ILT20 commenced on Jaunary 19 this year and will conclude on February 17. The second edition of SA20 runs for a month as it got underway on January 10 and ended on February 10 this year while PSL will start on February 17 this year and will be played till March 18. BPL is runnings from January 19 to March 1 this year and Champions Trophy is directly clashing with all these tournaments next year.
An ILT20 official admitted that the window will be limited next year for the competition even as there are no official statements from SA20 or even PSL regarding the clash. “We will have to work on a limited window,” an official told Cricbuzz. Meanwhile, PCB can afford to start PSL in the last week of February soon after the end of Champions Trophy but in all probability then, it will clash with the Indian Premeir League (IPL).
Also, if tournaments like SA20 and ILT20 started early in December 2024 to avoid clashes and overlapping with the Champions Trophy, the player availability in those two tournaments and even the BBL will be an issue. The Australian T20 tournament got affected even this year with a lot of marquee players leaving their clubs in the playoff week with more monetary gains in the ILT20. It will be interesting to see how cricket boards work around this issue in consultation with the ICC with less than a year to go for the Champions Trophy.