Champions League Twenty20 2011

Pakistan may protest Champions League exclusion

Osman Samiuddin

June 21, 2011

Comments: 58 | Text size: A | A

Sialkot Stallions with the trophy, Faisalabad Wolves v Sialkot Stallions, RBS Twenty20 Cup final, Karachi, February 7, 2010
The new Twenty20 tournament in Pakistan will feature only the top eight domestic sides © Shakir Khilji

Pakistan are expected to raise the issue of their continued snub from the Champions League Twenty20 at the ICC annual meeting later this month in Hong Kong. The Champions League unveiled its schedule and a new format for this year's tournament on Monday, a ten-team tournament to be held in India in September and October, preceded by a six-team qualifying stage.

This season sees the return of teams from England for the qualifying stages, but as expected no team from Pakistan has been invited. That leaves them as the only major Test nation without representation in the tournament; Bangladesh are the only other full member without a team in the mix. The ICC has also proposed an annual window in the next FTP - from 2012 to 2020 - to accommodate the Champions League.

Officially the PCB chose not to respond to the snub, but one official said that the issue would not be left alone. "We plan to have full scale discussions during the ICC AGM later this month about our exclusion," he told ESPNcricinfo. The board has, according to the official, already raised the issue "indirectly" with other boards, as well as the ICC.

They have not yet, however, been in contact with the three boards that run the event, those of India, Australia and South Africa. "The response from the Indian side is very cold and we have not discussed this with CA or CSA because the BCCI calls the shots and it is no use discussing it with others," the official said. An official from the Champions League was contacted but no response was forthcoming.

The muted public response is in a way indicative of Pakistan's confused approach to one of the game's most lucrative tournaments. A team from Pakistan - the then champions Sialkot Stallions - was invited to the inaugural edition of the tournament at the end of 2008, but that was postponed after the Mumbai terror attacks in November that year. The fall-out of those attacks was a deteriorating political relationship between India and Pakistan, and a cricketing one between the BCCI and PCB. The invitation was withdrawn for the 2009 event.

Last year, the PCB chairman Ijaz Butt first said Pakistan would be open to sending a team to the second tournament, before ruling out that possibility less than two weeks later and then finally denying, two months later, that he had ruled out participation and expressing his disappointment.

The snub comes days before Pakistan's own, new domestic T20 tournament gets underway in Faisalabad (from June 24). The tournament is a new addition to the domestic calendar, cashing in on the immense popularity of the format in Pakistan and in particular its own T20 tournament over the last few years. This version is a kind of champions league itself, open only to the top eight domestic sides (according to their standings in the main T20 tournament earlier in the season).

Despite a recent dip in form, Pakistan is counted among the top Twenty20 sides in the world, having won the world title in 2009, finished runners-up in 2007 and only been denied a final spot in 2010 after a freakish innings from Michael Hussey.

This also means that the ICC AGM will be a particularly significant one for Pakistan. In addition to the issue over the exclusion from the Champions League, the matter of the PCB's legal notice to the ICC over governance will fall under the spotlight, as well as the board's objection to the proposed changes to the presidential appointment system.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by BUTT_093 on (June 24, 2011, 13:25 GMT)

The fact of the matter is: the BCCI is too strong and will not allow Pakistan breathing space wherever it has influence, which is pretty much everywhere. What Pakistan needs is strong representation at the helm of affairs and a determined effort towards the rebuilding of diplomatic relations with other cricket boards in order to gain support and get leverage over India. That looks like a very long and arduous road ahead if there is any in the first place.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

I will be extremely happy if ICC get all cricket board out of any influence of political gov. That is the only way forward for Pakistan. that is what every Pakistani want exept these politions and PCB ad hoc officials.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2011, 13:13 GMT)

If an international Pakistan team can play the World T20, why cant a domestic Pakistani side play in an international league competition?

Posted by screamingeagle on (June 22, 2011, 11:28 GMT)

I dunno, I dont really care if sialkot whatever is playing or not; I am not too sure if too many ppl care about who CLT20 champs are anyway...

Posted by reality_check on (June 22, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

@cric-maestro: ICC has blessed the CLT20 by providing a convenient window in the FTP so this makes it an all inclusive event for all ICC members. Seems like BCCI wants to pick up it's marbles and refuse to play like a spoiled brat whenever it chooses be it ICL or UDRS or CLT20 or SLPL or any other matter which involves Pakistan. The way things are going with BCCI at the helm of world cricket, there will only be India left to play itself against itself in it's own borders.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2011, 7:24 GMT)


I agree with you that the PCB is a disaster but smart "diplomacy" with the BCCI? The same organization that with its BIG "ego" destroyed the ICL?

"BCCI, in its attempts to scuttle the ICL carried out a sustained and widespread campaign against the privately owned 'rebel league' that eventually led to its closure; it "arm-twisted every cricket board and the ICC" to change their constitutions."

Posted by imirfan on (June 22, 2011, 5:41 GMT)

I like all the comments specialy the comment made by "getsetgopk". Dont worry Pakistan and Pakistan cricket will survivie.

Posted by likeintcricket on (June 22, 2011, 3:54 GMT)

Pakistan has so much resources but they lack in management. They can easily organize a parallel champion's league with other 7 teams. The venues could be UAE or Bangladesh- Srilanka or England. Financially Indians are strong but Talent wise most of the sides are equal. So with any tournament with teams from WI, Pak, NZ, ENG etc could easily be more successful than AUS, CA and BCCI only.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2011, 3:22 GMT)

CLT20 is really boring just like IPL, these both leagues should be scraped if you want to save cricket. ICC only cares about money now adays. very sad.

Posted by   on (June 22, 2011, 1:00 GMT)

It's one thing for readers here to get emotional etc. What is surprising is the immaturity of the PCB officials. As an administrator, when you know the BCCI is the one calling the shots, I would expert smart diplomacy, as opposed to pointless complaining! As always, the Pak players lose out due to the PCB's ego. Imran Khan as PCB president, anyone??

Posted by xylo on (June 21, 2011, 23:34 GMT)

A Pakistani T20 team would be a refreshing change over the Kiwi, Sri Lankan and Carribean sides that showed up for the last CL to fill up numbers.

Posted by mso797 on (June 21, 2011, 19:32 GMT)

clt20 is run by the "icc" sort of but really they're just a puppy of the bcci i don't want hate between india and pakistan b/c they're both the greatest t20 countries We must opt for for more inclusion in cricket i totally support the idea of building a stadium on wagah border this will help pakistan in all ways and bring them back into cricket

Posted by getsetgopk on (June 21, 2011, 18:40 GMT)

well my understanding is that only a coward runs away from a fight. they called it a "champions leage" where the real champs are not even invited? some team will win this competiton in the end and they'll call them 'champs' ? you cant do that or if u still do that'll be a fake champ because the dictionary definition of champ is to have beaten the best in the business. before, it used to be 'if you cant beat them join them but the indian way is 'if u cant beat them dont play against them'.

Posted by ShaniJ on (June 21, 2011, 18:38 GMT)

ClT20 without the real champions of T20,what a shame!.Its like a car without engine.

Posted by nsidd75 on (June 21, 2011, 17:54 GMT)

pakistan should not care for a tournament that is club level

Posted by cric-maestro on (June 21, 2011, 17:47 GMT)

@reality_check: let me see, u consider urself to be such champs then play in your own backyard....CLt20 is organised by BCCi , CA and CSA ...and they simply dont consider pak for this event....wat pcb can do is organise a similar event in partnership with bangladesh as they are also not give me a break,,,BCCI knows how to protect its players interests unlike PCB....and please dont get me started on controveries of PCB and its players...

Posted by Desihungama on (June 21, 2011, 17:20 GMT)

You are not invited becasue they know you'll WIN it all and again. To them, it's just a sad truth. Blame it on Butt for not doing his job on this issue. Another country would have taken ICC to courts on this exclusion based on....what? If India does not want to play so be it. No harm done in fact it is valid from their point of view. Butt if the Champions League is an ICC santioned league then what are basis of exclusion?

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT)

if pakistan want to play then request bcci.. as icc has no role to play in clt20 it is not icc.tournament so they can do nothing

Posted by Saim93 on (June 21, 2011, 16:21 GMT)

No point in arguing over this, the routine will come through eventually. Pakistan will protest, ICC wont care and warn Pakistan in some way and we'll start all this over again next year.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 15:31 GMT)

@stark62. you have just took my words !

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 15:18 GMT)

Well whats up with people saying that CL T-20 is an ICC event ? Its not...its an approved ICC event but it has its own governing council and its totally up to the council to invite or not invite teams to its tournament... Well should a Pakistan team be invited ? Well last year the tournament was a big hit without any of the domestic teams from the administrators will not loose sleep over it...What they will fret about is what happened when one of the Pakistani team was invited to CL T-20 (Ist edition)

Posted by cric-maestro on (June 21, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

@sirvivfan: mate,if IPL is causing harm,,then why are u bothered so much about the exclusion of pak team from CLt20....the format,organisers,etc. are more or less same in IPL n CLt20....or wat can be done , pcb can have its own league in UAE by the funds they have generated by fining the players....

Posted by cric-maestro on (June 21, 2011, 15:05 GMT)

@Shah sohaib ahmed: not only bangladesh,,,,plead china to help u out in this case also....

Posted by cric-maestro on (June 21, 2011, 15:04 GMT)

@Emran Nomi: please check your facts before posting such comments......pak has never beaten ind in any WC ,,,,be it odi or t20...moreover,it has nt been even 3 months when india defeated pak in wc semifinal.....and afraid !!!...get a life dude....

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

cric-maestro,mind your language.i bet if chennai play(only indian players ) with sialkot stallions,sialkot win sialkot not only imran nazir plays,there are other pakistan stars played as well and till you dont have any research dont say anything..its free tip for you

Posted by touqeer777 on (June 21, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

Can anybody tell me which team has best record in T20 W Cups,its Pak.Pak was finalist in 2007,champion in 2009 and semi finalist in 2010.How BCCI ignore such great talent.I m really disappointed by the snubbing of BCCI of Pakistan .I think Sialkot Stallion(even though they r not current champion) is one of the best T20 side in the world.BCCI is scared that may be pak team won the league and put slap on them.PLZ PLZ leave politics separate from sports.Cricket bring happiness and excitement to the people.PCB always support BCCI on all issues but in reward BCCI always cheat them but how long,they can not blackmail ICC like they r doing right now.Pak players have proved again and again all over the world that they r best in T20 format so how BCCI can ignore them.there r certain people in BCCI who do not want pak cricket to grow up at all thats why they try their best to stop them whether its IPL or Champion League.Champion LG is all about the Champions not about ignoring best T20 in world.

Posted by reality_check on (June 21, 2011, 14:45 GMT)

@cric-maestro. What is so special about the CLT20 teams that Pakistani teams can't sit on the same table? I mean Pakistan is just a one time runner up, a winner and a semi finalist in 3 out of 3 ICC T20 tournaments so far so that makes them waaaayyyy below standard to anyone else. And please don't even get me started on controversies. Compared to PCB, BCCI/IPL are as pure as wind driven snow. No controversy in last 60 years... none, zero, natta. LOL.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

First of all PCB should make up their mind on whether they want to be part of BCCI /ICC sponsored tournaments or oppose or boycott them. PCB always seems confused and never has a plan...their decisions are on the spot decision on every matter be it internal (banning, fining, unbanning, NOC issue with their own players)or regarding negotiation or actions with ICC , BCCI. They will say "X statement" today , deny it next day , apologies for it third day and the repeat the cycle all over again from fourth day... The PCB chairman one day says no IPL permission or CL for their players..then very next day is complaining why Pakistan is not part of IPL. Then one day he proposes banning cricket bodies where govt interferes and when ICC is close to implementing that rule he himself opposes the rule he proposed. This is so similar to Pakistan players retiring this week to be unretired next week or being banned this month only to see ban revoked next month.

Posted by Dhoni_The_Great on (June 21, 2011, 13:50 GMT)

First of all, the Pakistani supporters should blame the PCB management, Pakistan Government and Pakistani player for this situation. Other teams afraid to come to Pakistan because of security and also inviting Pakistan team creating all sorts of problem like players do the match fixing. Better play some competitive cricket at international level without any mess for sometime to claim others confidence.

Posted by cric-maestro on (June 21, 2011, 12:42 GMT)

@Stark62: Really feel sorry for Real madrid and barcelona after such comparisons...

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 12:38 GMT)

ICC if you have power and money why the hell listen to bcci?

do what ever u think si right, i am sureif pak domestic team competes in champions league then they will lift the cup.

ICC is afraid that pak team will win the league. shame on bcci and icc.

Posted by cric-maestro on (June 21, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

just when it seemed that pcb are content with slpl , here comes another issue....cmon, the teams playing in CLt20 have a certain standard which is way par when u consider pak domestic teams....i mean players like imran nazir who is an epic international failure is star for a domestic is no good if teams like those participate and result is their humiliation by superior bunch of domestic teams...having said that this all is being done to keep CLt20 free from any controversies...

Posted by Natesan333 on (June 21, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

If anyone one thinks that cricket (or any international game) is just a game then you are dead wrong. It's geo politics, war with different weapons. If pak doesn't get their stuff together (and I don't mean just cricket) they are going to be left behind.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

I think that ICC need to Takes it own decision whether or not any Circketing nation have rights to approach and discuss you cannot have a monopoly for one committee. till England starts cricketing culture so England have rights to take own decision not BCCI or any other Board.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 12:09 GMT)

wow...the BCCI never ceases to amaze me. And the best part is that CA and the CSA are blindly shutting their eyes and letting those bullies do whatever they want.

No one board should have that much power REGARDLESS of all the $$$ they bring in. we need to look at the bigger picture and in that picture, this elitist behavior is strongly affecting the sport.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 12:07 GMT)

ICC is a sub ordinate of BCCI, so no use of discussing this with them. In current situation BCCI rules , THE ENd.

Posted by IC_M on (June 21, 2011, 11:20 GMT)

Good one ROLAYH, Pak and it's cricket board should get it's act together and I really pity their supporter as they are the one who is suffering from it.

Posted by Udendra on (June 21, 2011, 11:19 GMT)

No use. ICC dances to the BCCI tunes! so much for democracy!

Posted by Stark62 on (June 21, 2011, 10:57 GMT)


The icc are going to do nothing!

Plus, the exclusion of Pakistani domestic teams is like excluding Real Madrid and Barca from the UEFA Champions league because they are Spanish teams.

Also, can butt please leave the chairman's post?

Posted by delastbastion on (June 21, 2011, 10:47 GMT)

i support zahid in his views .......even the new format smacks of elitism

Posted by smartguy786 on (June 21, 2011, 10:46 GMT)

Pakistan Must play in the Champions League there is no reason to exclude them. This is not a tournament org by BCCI but ICC, so wake up ICC. Do the honorable thing and let Pakistan play. its not only their right but fun dentally correct that they should be included

Posted by chrisgus on (June 21, 2011, 10:40 GMT)

How can you n ot include pakistan???

Posted by CriticallyCricket on (June 21, 2011, 10:38 GMT)

I fear that the BCCI Dollars have got the ICC blinkered!

ICC should not be so worried about the short term greed and instead should think about the survival of Cricket long-term as an International Sport!

Please remember that the Cricket survived and flourished before the BCCI Dollars!

Posted by CriticallyCricket on (June 21, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

The ICC needs to stand up to the BCCI, not only on this issue but also take into account all other boards point of view...

Otherwise, other Boards will deal directly with BCCI and this will lead to harm and split into Cricket! Basically pro and anti BCCI clubs will develop!

The whole thing is insane and the ICC has merely become a floor mat for the BCCI...

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 10:32 GMT)

actually india is always afraid of Pakistan since independence they know that if Pakistan will participate in this tournament, they will win like T20 and WC.

Posted by Usmanaftab24 on (June 21, 2011, 10:30 GMT)

If ICC cannot contain BCCI, it does not deserve to run the cricketing affairs on this planet! It's extremely unfair!

Posted by sirvivfan on (June 21, 2011, 10:29 GMT)

Absolute disgrace! ICC should take control of the matter away from BCCI. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable. All other boards like the Austrailians and ECB have been bought out. Even th eIPL tornament should be controlled by ICC to the extent that it should make sure eligble players are inlcude din the auctions and and not excluded by government interference. If so IPL shoudld not be allowed to be included and approved by the ICC. Already IPL is causing much damage to international cricket. All it is doing is furthering Indian cricket. It is so obvious to all but the money greedy cronies from certain parts of the world. Please do publish my comments as a proof that this web site is also not underr the influence of BCCI!!!

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (June 21, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

Pakistan isn't going to be included in these events, and that isn't going to change for a long time. The ICC by and large doesn't care one iota about the good of the game, neither in Pakistan, Ireland or spreading it to other associates. It's all about maximising short term revenue; squeeze that goose that lays the golden egg as hard as it can. Unfortunately for Pakistani cricket the ICC seems to have its sights set firmly on trying to kick Pakistan out of international competition. Rather than focus on the Champions League, I think there are bigger fights around the corner for Pakistani cricket, by and large this is one they must let go.

Posted by sai1991 on (June 21, 2011, 10:17 GMT)

Allowing pakistan to play is a blunder, they ll create all sorts of problems. They have taken right decision in not including them.

Posted by MAAMBA on (June 21, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

Pakistan better to concentrate on hockey.....BCCI (bullying ICC) never let u prosper...Throw ur bat adn take hockey stick..otherwise wait until china entry in to cricket....

Posted by   on (June 21, 2011, 10:13 GMT)

this is outrageous this , sport is going to the dogs, how can 3 boards run the CL T and the ICC has no say in it what so ever. this is a propaganda against Pakistan, all teams countries should have a representation including Pakistana nd bangladesh and if india says Paksitan wont be allowed to play in india then move the tournnament somewhere else.WE DEMAND THAT A PAKISTAN TEAM BE put in.

Posted by KarachiKid on (June 21, 2011, 9:47 GMT)

If this is not discrimination what is ? ICC is run by a few boards and I understand its all money. I think Pakistan should try to improve its cricket and hopefull situation will normalize in the country. As for ICC, its a hopeless body, Pakistan should never expect any support from ICC for such "international events". Its all money.

Posted by Roamer on (June 21, 2011, 9:41 GMT)

Where is the task committee for promotion of Cricket for Pakistan ... if I remember correctly it was ECB chief and couple of other guys from ICC, if Pakistan will be snubbed time and again by ICC (read Indian Cricket Board) then what is the point of having this committee and why there should be a window for Champions League or as a matter of fact IPL in the international cricket calendar. About time International Cricket Council should come clean on it and Pakistan as a nation need to understand it as well.

Posted by tanzeel_shahzad on (June 21, 2011, 9:26 GMT)

pakistan should do this ..

Posted by ROLAYH on (June 21, 2011, 8:56 GMT)

India wants to sideline Pakistan and will never let them participate in IPL or Champions League... and if they have it their way, they would even kick out Pakistan's International team... so get over with it and seek new opportunities...

Posted by tick on (June 21, 2011, 8:12 GMT)

its such a insensible csa have 6 domestic teams in t20 and there 2 teams are in champs league..pakistan has 10 teams in t20 league...some of best in world..but not 1 is allowed..forget ipl.. its a indian league..its understandable that there are political issues in ipl but chmps league is this decision they are not allowing world to see best t20 players..people who have seen sialkot,faislabd and lahores t20 teams know they are far better than most teams in chmps league..what could be the reason...may be csa,cs and bcci don't want shift of attention towards pakistan's teams because there own teams will be followed less than pakistano teams...24th june is starting date of domestic geo super enjoy best t20 talent in world...and see for yourself...

Posted by khurramsch on (June 21, 2011, 8:01 GMT)

it will be a domestic t20 team if included?

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (June 21, 2011, 7:33 GMT)

Instead of discussing this issue regarding pakistan's inclusion, they should look in to the validity of an international event being run by BCCI and two other boards where as it should be an ICC event, just as EUFA runs champions league of football clubs in Europe.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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