Champions League Twenty20 2012 July 3, 2012

CLT20 from October 9-28, fourth IPL team gets direct entry

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Champions League 2012 will be held between October 9 and 28 this year in South Africa and will be preceded by a six-team qualifying stage, as was held last year. However, unlike last year, the fourth IPL team has got direct entry to the main tournament (In 2011, Kolkata Knight Riders, who had finished fourth that IPL season, had to compete in the qualifiers). The six teams to play in the qualifying stage this year are Pakistan's Sialkot Stallions, New Zealand's Auckland Aces, Trinidad and Tobago from West Indies, one team from Sri Lanka and two from England.

The top two teams from the qualifiers will join eight others in the main round, according to a tweet by Sundar Raman, a member of the CLT20 technical committee.

The eight sides gaining direct entry to the main round of the CLT20 are the top four IPL teams (Mumbai Indians, who are also the CLT20 defending champions, current IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils), Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers (from Australia's Big Bash League) and Titans and Lions (South Africa).

Cape Town, Johannesburg, Centurion and Durban have been named as venues for the tournament, though the dates and venues for the qualifiers, as well as the schedule, are yet to be released.

The inaugural edition of the CLT20 - a tournament organised by the boards of India, Australia and South Africa - in 2009 had 12 teams while the 2010 version had 10. Last year, three teams from the qualifying stage made it to the main round, which included seven others.