Pak to send two teams in Champions League

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The Pakistan Cricket Board has decided to field in two teams in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

Updated: August 05, 2008 10:54 IST
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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to field in two teams in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament to be held in India from September 29 to October 8.

Although ICC has expressed reservations over the event, PCB Chief Operating Officer, Shafqat Naghmi made it clear that Pakistan would support every decision on the Indian Cricket Board-backed Twenty20 tournament.

Naghmi confirmed that Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 champions will definitely participate in the event and the Board was even contemplating of fielding in another team.

"The Sialkot Stallions have been invited for the event," he said, adding, "we are also thinking of sending two teams, but we still don't know as so far we have not seen the details."

Interestingly, flamboyant opener Imran Nazir and pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who featured in the rebel Indian Cricket League, was a part of the Stallions squad last year and helped the side, led by Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik to win the Twenty20 title.

Incidentally, IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and BCCI are strongly opposed to the idea of fielding in teams which has links with ICL players and this has even led to a dispute with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

However, sources close to PCB said this won't act as a hindrance in Stallions' participation in the Champions League as the moment Nazir and Rana signed up with the rebel league, the Board has banned the duo from all domestic competitions.

"They (Nazir and Rana) are no longer eligible to play for Stallions. So there is no real problem. Stallions will only field players who have no connections with the ICL," a PCB source said.

Naghmi also expressed ignorance about ICC's reported letter to the member boards warning them that if the Champions League went ahead from September 29, a day after the Champions Trophy ends in Pakistan, it could lead to a lawsuit from the broadcasters who have a television rights deal with the world body.

"No I have seen no such letter so I don't know anything about it at the moment," he said.
The PCB COO added that Pakistan was itself preparing to launch the Pakistan Premier League next year and have had consultations with the IPL authorities on this matter.

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