OUR MAN AT THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TWENTY 20 TIM MATHIAS REPORTS . . .
World Cricket Watch will be bringing you reports from the heart of the action as our roving reporter Tim Mathias is in India taking in the sights and getting swept along by this cricket mad nation. He continues to pursue his dream of publishing his ongoing research on the evolution of Indian cricket, from ‘Cultural Supremacy to Cricketing Swadeshi’ and the Champions League is the next logical step.
Champions League Twenty20 Explained
The inaurgural Airtel Champions League starts on Thursday night in Bangalore, the most unique competition within cricket, conceived by the same organisers of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL, Vice-President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) promises a huge prize fund of US$6m, as the best Twenty20 teams from domestic leagues compete in a two-week tournament.
The Airtel Champions League (CLT20) will feature twelve teams from around the world, DLF IPL Season 2 champions, Deccan Chargers, runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore and third-placed Delhi Daredevils (India); New South Wales Blues and VB Victorian Bushrangers (Australia); Cape Cobras and Diamond Eagles (South Africa); Otago Volts (New Zealand); Wayamba (Sri Lanka); Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies) and winner of England’s domestic Twenty20 competition – Sussex and runners-up Somerset County Cricket Club.
The teams will compete within four groups of three, with the top two teams from each group progessing to the second league stage- two groups of four teams each. The top two teams will play in semi finals before the grand final on the 23rd of October in Hyderabad.
Based in the three cities of Bangalore, New Delhi and Hyderabad, the teams will compete for the chance to be crowned the best Twenty20 team in domestic cricket and crucially the US$2.5m first prize. Simply for participating, each team will receive US$500,000.
The initial tournament was postponed in light of the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008. Yet more time has afforded the organisers to plan and attempt to execute a unique format of competition with an ‘unprecedented’ prize fund.
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