India to host T20 Champions League

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The Governing Council of the Champions League has decided that the inaugural edition of the Twenty20 tournament will now be played in India in October 2009

Updated: May 25, 2009 06:56 IST
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Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers and Delhi Daredevils will represent hosts India in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament to be held from October 8-23.

Besides the three toppers of Indian Premier League, top two domestic T20 teams from South Africa, England, Australia and the domestic T20 champions from New Zealand, the West Indies and Sri Lanka will participate in the 12-team event.

"In the CL T20, I believe we have a concept that will inspire and motivate the future generations of club, state and county cricketers, while accelerating the development of the game globally," IPL chairman and BCCI vice-president Lalit Modi said at a press conference on Sunday.

"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. I am confident that this will be a true global event the scale of which the cricketing world has not seen outside of the World Cups," Modi added.

Victoria and New South Wales will represent Australia, while the Cobras and Eagles will represent South Africa -- the other two founding member nations of the tournament along with India.

The teams in the USD six million event will be divided into four groups and will initially play each other on league basis. The top two sides from each group will then qualify for the second stage, followed by the semifinals.

"I am certain that the League will encourage the pipeline of cricket development from the club, affiliate and franchise levels through to the international arenas," Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola said.

"The Champions League T20 is a marquee global tournament where only top T20 club teams from various domestic leagues from top cricketing nations qualify to compete for the greatest honour, to be adjudged as Champion of Champions," said Manu Sawhney, Managing Director of ESPN STAR Sports, the tournament's commercial rights holders for 10 years.

Among others, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, RCB skipper Anil Kumble, Deccan captain Adam Gilchrist and GMR Sports chairman Sreenivas Bomidala were present on the occasion.

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