India to host Champions Twenty20 League from Sept 29

July 30th, 2008 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 30 (IANS) India will host the inaugural Champions Twenty20 League, jointly held by cricketing boards of India, South Africa and Australia, from Sept 29 with a prize pool of a whopping $6 million. “The three boards have reached an agreement to stage the inaugural Champions Twenty20. The ten-day tournament will have eight teams representing the finalists of Twenty20 competition of various domestic leagues. The teams will play 15 matches,” said a joint statement issued by the three boards after a meeting here Wednesday.

The finalists from the Indian Premier League (IPL), KFC Big Bash Twenty20 organised by Cricket Australia (CA), and the Standard Bank Pro20 conducted by Cricket South Africa (CSA) will take part.

However, it is still not clear whether England will compete. The Indian cricket board has put forward the condition that counties from England can participate only if they do not field rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) players.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is also not happy with the money sharing pattern of the tournament. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) though has kept Pakistan as standby in case the ECB does not fall in line.

The ECB was planning its own Champions League in Abu Dhabi but with the three boards jointly declaring the rules and regulations of the tournament, it will find difficult to organise a similar tournament on that level.

At the meeting of the three boards Wednesday, the regulations concerning the league, the business plan, the governance model, the shareholding pattern and the commercial aspects, including the tender process, were approved.

Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner of the IPL and BCCI vice-president, said: “The success of the IPL has undoubtedly captured the imagination of cricket supporters from around the world.”

“The Champions Twenty20 League, which will be played by (the) eight best teams from the world which have earned their place through their domestic competitions, provides a new and exciting pinnacle for club championships across the world,” Modi said.

“It will provide teams with the opportunity to earn the title of World Club Champions in a format which will be eagerly anticipated by spectators and players alike.”

The eight teams will be divided into two groups. After the preliminary league matches, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals and their winners will clash in the grand finale. The number of teams will move up to 12 and will play 23 matches from next year.

The tournament would also mark the introduction of a football-style Champions League format for cricket, which will pit the best clubs in domestic cricket globally against each other.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland and Cricket South Africa’s CEO Gerald Majola were present.

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