Champions League T20 to be held in October 2009 in India

Twelve teams would participate in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament which will be held from October 8 to 23 in India this year. Three teams from India — the two finalists and the top league finishing team — will compete for the trophy against the top two domestic T20 teams from South Africa, England, Australia and the domestic T20 champions from New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka.

The new tournament dates are October 8-23, with 23 matches scheduled and $US6 million in prize money up for grabs. A draw will be held on June 23 in London to decide the fixtures.

The teams will be divided into four groups of three each and will initially play each other on a league basis. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the second stage and four teams from the second stage would make it to the semi-finals, it was announced on Sunday.

The tournament was scheduled to be held in India last year but was postponed because of the Mumbai attacks.

Deccan Chargers ( IPL 2009 Champion) The Royal Challengers (IPL 2009 Runner Up), and Delhi Daredevils (Top League Finisher in IPL 2009) will represent India, Victoria and New South Wales will represent Australia, while the Cobras and Eagles will the two South African teams. Otago from New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago from West Indies and Wayamba from Sri Lanka.

The two English teams will be decided after the domestic Twenty20 championship, which ends in August.

Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist said: “Champions League Twenty20 will provide a different level of stimulus as we will test our strength and our strategies against the best in the world.

“We are keen to make our club a global name and (there is) nothing better than winning the biggest league club cricket has to offer across the world.”

Anil Kumble, captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, said on the occasion: “We have achieved our first aim of qualifying for the Champions League Twenty20.We have learnt a lot by competing in the two editions of the IPL and are hopeful that we will do India proud by holding the Champions League Twenty20 trophy later this year.”

Lalit Modi, chairman, Champions League Twenty 20, said, “The inaugural edition did not take place last year due to unfortunate circumstances but we are fully equipped this time around to conduct an extremely successful tournament in India.

Manu Sawhney, managing director, ESPN Star Sports, said, “Today, we are the biggest stakeholder in the game of cricket globally and with our strong brands, we are well placed to fully leverage and exploit multiple opportunities across platforms and markets.”

The League will carry a prize pool of $ 6 million for 2009. ESPN Star Sports are the commercial rights holders for the League for a period of 10 years. The tournament is a joint venture by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA).

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