Brad Haddin of the Sydney Sixers during a Champions League Twenty20 match. Photo: Getty Images
Cricket Australia has no intention of rolling back its commitment to the Champions League, despite the impact on Test preparations, declaring the rich dividends of the tournament too important to grass-roots cricket.
Media rights to the club Twenty20 event were sold to ESPN-Star Sports for $900 million in 2008, in a decade-long deal, and CA has a one-third share in the tournament with India (50 percent) and South Africa (17 per cent). The annual dividend to CA is about $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 Twenty20, 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 said.
"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."
Injured all-rounder Shane Watson was called home early from the Champions League but Australia's coaching hierachy wanted him to skip the tournament altogether. Pat Cummins, a member of the Sydney Sixers' winning team, developed a stress injury in his back, and CA team performance manager Pat Howard was disappointed he wasn't informed about the young paceman's soreness straight away.