Champions League T20 could move to South Africa
The Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), the most lucrative club cricket tournament in the world, could possibly be moved to South Africa. Cricket South Africa acting CEO Jacques Faul told ESPNcricinfo, "It could be a possibility [that SA will host] but we will only know later in June. There are problems with the IPL qualifiers venues for the CLT20 but there has been no final decision yet." Faul has returned from a CLT20 governing council meeting in India which was held in Chennai after the end of the IPL.
Faul is one of the members of the CLT20 governing council, replacing the previous CEO Gerald Majola, who is suspended pending disciplinary action. Following the governing council meeting, there has been no formal announcement of the 2012 CLT20 other than the two on Twitter by Sundar Raman, a member of the CLT20 technical committee. The first Tweet said Sialkot Stallions of Pakistan would be invited to take part in the IPL, the first time a Pakistani team would be competing in the event. The second said the dates for the tournament would only be released by the end of June.
ESPNcricinfo understands that talks of moving the CLT20 to South Africa were driven by several reasons, including the Indian monsoons and a five-day festival in the east of the country. Late last week, Times of India had reported that the tournament would take place in India from October 10-28 over five venues: Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and New Delhi. Kolkata had lost out on hosting matches during the latter half of the tournament as the entire state of West Bengal would shut down for the Durga Puja holiday from October 20 to 25.
In the 2011 CLT20, a six-team qualifier leg was held for the first time with the fourth-place finisher from the IPL, the national T20 champions from New Zealand and West Indies, a team from Sri Lanka and two teams from England competing for three qualifying spots. The total prize money on offer was $6m with the winner earning $2.5m. The event was won by Mumbai Indians.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent