Champions Trophy 2025 schedule poses a threat to T20 leagues

Champions Trophy 2025 is set to kick off in the first week of February. However, its timing poses a significant challenge for various T20 leagues across the globe. At least four T20 competitions – SA20, Pakistan Super League (PSL), ILT20, and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will be affected because of this as all the abovementioned tournaments are played in January and February.

The ILT20, which commenced on January 19, is slated to conclude on February 17, 2024, while SA20, which began on January 10 will end on February 10. BPL began in January and will continue till March while PSL which is played in February and March will also be affected. The officials associated with these leagues are already working on a backup plan but to find a window in a busy calendar is proving to be extremely difficult.

While the scheduling puzzle unfolds, the elephant in the room remains the venue. Pakistan, the host nation, signed an agreement with the International Cricket Council (ICC) recently, but doubts persist. India refused to travel to its neighbouring country during Asia Cup 2023 and the same is likely to repeat in 2025. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials are yet to speak on the matter as a discussion is likely to take place during the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

In case India refuses to travel to Pakistan, which is highly likely, the tournament might get shifted to a different venue. One-half of the Asia Cup was moved to Sri Lanka last year and a similar thing can happen in the Champions Trophy as well. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) seems to be the most obvious choice at the moment as Pakistan has played a lot of their home games in that part of the world, but no discussions have taken place so far.

Until then, the leagues can work on their schedule as an ILT20 official confirmed that they will have a ‘limited window’ and will have to work with that. As things stand, the franchise tournaments are likely to begin in late December and will end in January. However, in that case, it might collide with the Big Bash League (BBL).