Champions League, 2008 June 22, 2008

Hayden, Hussey to miss tour game for Champions League - IPL

See you in Chennai: Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey will turn out for their IPL team in the Champions League which clashes with an Australian tour game in India © Getty Images

Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey, Australia's key batsmen, will miss the pre-Test series practice match - if selected in the Test squad for the India tour - to instead play for Chennai Super Kings, their Indian Premier League team, in the Champions League, claimed IS Bindra, a member of the IPL governing council.

Bindra also confirmed the Champions League will be held in India during the 10-day window after the Champions Trophy, which ends in Lahore on September 28, and before the first Test between India and Australia starting October 9. Admitting this would lead to a clash with Australia's scheduled visit to India starting September 29, especially a tour game from October 2 to 5, Bindra told Cricinfo, "Hussey and Hayden, the two key players facing a clash of dates, will play for the Chennai team."

Chennai finished second behind Shane Warne-led Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, and both have qualified for the Champions League involving the top two Twenty20 teams from four countries.

However Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young said the board was keen that international duties take precedence. "The IPL always agreed with that," Young told AAP. "The situation is moving very quickly and I don't think there will be any clarity until all the parties get together and work out what the dates are, and who's doing what, where and when. But there's too much uncertainty and we don't want to create expectations that might not be delivered."

Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has previously told Cricinfo that IPL franchises would get first priority over players for the Champions League but will have to pay a fee to the player's state team if both have qualified for the event. In the case of Hussey, who is caught between Western Australia and Chennai , Modi had said, that "Chennai has the option to keep him and pay a relieving fees to Western Australia".

Although Cricket Australia is finalising the rules for the Champions League, Bindra said it is likely to be a single-leg tournament spread over eight to nine days. Apparently, Mohali has emerged as a strong contender to stage the event as it is just a short flight away from Lahore where the Champions Trophy winds up.

Ajay Shankar is deputy editor of Cricinfo in Bangalore