Cricket Australia (CA) has made it clear that it doesn't intend to roll back its commitment to the Champions League, despite the impact on Test preparations, insisting that the money generated by the tournament is important to develop the game at the grassroots level.
Media rights of the Twenty20 event were sold to ESPN-Star Sports for USD 900 million in 2008, in a decade-long deal, and CA has a one-third share in the tournament with India (50 per cent) and South Africa (17 per cent). The annual dividend to CA is about USD 6 million.
This year's event was staged later than usual, running up against Australia's heavyweight clash with South Africa, because of the ICC World T20, messing with Test preparations.
"We're in Champions League for the long term, and the benefit it creates for Australian cricket is quite significant, and that flows right down to community cricket," a CA spokesman was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
"We're a shareholder in it and we benefit from a share of the media rights and that makes a significant contribution to the financial performance of Australian cricket, which flows down to clubs, schools, indigenous programs and the like. We're just not in a position to compromise that. "We have to manage it as best we can just as we manage playing three forms of the game on a continuing basis," he added.
Injured all-rounder Shane Watson was summoned home early from the Champions League but Australia's coaching hierarchy wanted him to skip the tournament altogether.
Pat Cummins, a member of the Sydney Sixers' winning team, had developed a stress injury in his back, and CA team performance manager Pat Howard was upset that he wasn't informed about the pacer's soreness straight away.