Cricket’s version of the Champions League sees a dozen of the world’s best teams in the T20 form of the game face off in India for the trophy. We offer our free picks in hopes of helping you select which squad could walk away the victor in this year's running.
Don’t be fooled by the title of this competition. This isn’t necessarily the best twelve teams in the world playing for a trophy in the 20-over-a-side version of the game. There are two reasons for this. First of all, none of the English sides are here, for various reasons too dull and complicated to go into. Second, the competition and always has been very heavily weighted in favour of the Indian teams. Four of the twelve sides come from there and three of them avoid having to qualify for the group stage.
The third reason is the strangest of all, though. Because the tournaments from which these teams have qualified came at different times of the year, most of the world’s best players in this format of the game played for more than one qualifying side. This means that some of the heavily fancied sides will be missing some key players, who will be playing against them instead. How will this shake up the betting odds.
No side is this truer of than the Sri Lankan champions, Kandurata Maroons, whose line-up will read like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Sri Lankan cricket, but which has in turn weakened the Indian sides for whom those players played for in the IPL.
That said, it is hard to look past IPL Champions Chennai, simply because any side led by MS Dhoni is always a contender. At 5/2 with Ladbrokes they are clear favorites. However, don’t discount, Kandurata. They are 20/1 shots with Bet365 but if they get it together as a side – and they have the benefit of the qualifying contest to get into form – then they will be real contenders.