UAE authorities deny being contacted for Twenty20 Champions League

July 30th, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, July 30 (IANS) Though there are reports circulating that Abu Dhabi and Sharjah may be the venues of the inaugural International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 Champions League, authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have denied being contacted by anyone for hosting the event. “We are not aware of this tournament being held here,” Dilawar Mani, president of the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council, told the newspaper Gulf News.

“No talks have been held nor has anyone sought our permission for the Abu Dhabi cricket stadium,” he was quoted as saying from the US where he is on a holiday.

The 10-day tournament, originally scheduled for late September and early October this year, was to be played by the top two domestic Twenty20 teams of India, Australia, England and South Africa.

But it has now become embroiled in a controversy as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have disagreed with each other’s terms and conditions and both countries are now vying to wrest the hosting rights.

India does not want English county side Kent, one of the two sides to represent England, as it includes Pakistan’s Azhar Mahmood and South Africa’s Justin Kemp, who played in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) Twenty20 tournament, considered a rebel tournament by the BCCI.

According to reports, England wants the tournament to be held in the UAE Sep 29-Oct 8, the same time that India wants to hold it.

However, it is learnt, the Indian board has refused to participate in the event if it was held in the UAE and has also reportedly made it clear to England that their teams would not be welcome in India of they did not agree to the BCCI’s terms and conditions.

Meanwhile, administrator of the Emirates Cricket Board Mazhar Khan also denied being contacted by anyone about the tournament.

“Neither the Emirates Cricket Board nor Sharjah Cricket Council has been contacted by anyone and till now we are not aware of any such tournament,” Khan told Gulf News from Malaysia, where he is accompanying the UAE as its manager in the ongoing Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Elite Trophy.

“We have read in the newspapers that such a tournament is being planned but we are yet to know anything about it even from Abu Dhabi,” he added.

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