T20 Champions League loses sponsor: report

NEW DELHI, August 3, 2011 (AFP) – The much-hyped Twenty20 Champions League has lost its title sponsor due to lack of interest in the multi-nation club tournament, Indian media reported on Wednesday. The Champions League was launched by the cricket boards of India, Australia and South Africa in the wake of the hugely popular Indian Premier League.

But its first two editions, played in India and South Africa, failed to ignite the same interest as the IPL, partly, analysts say, due to a lack of marquee name players.

“It’s a folly to think every cricket match will sell in India,” said media executive Amardeep Sidhu. “The IPL is popular in India because each of the 10 teams has a few national stars and fans can identify with them.

“Most of the foreign teams have players who are sometimes unknown even in their own country.”

To increase interest, organisers picked three IPL teams among the seven direct entries this year, with a fourth team scheduled to play in the qualifiers for the three remaining berths.

The qualifiers will feature Kolkata Knight Riders alongside Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies), Auckland Aces (New Zealand), two teams from the ongoing English Twenty20 and one fr