Champions League T20 2012 July 26, 2012

Pollard, Bravo and Narine to play for T&T - Sports minister

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Trinidad & Tobago sports minister has said that allrounders Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, and spinner Sunil Narine, will play for T&T in the Champions League T20 this October instead of their respective IPL teams, in contrast to previous seasons. However, their team affiliation at the tournament is likely to be debated further before being confirmed, with the franchises expected to fight for the three players.

Pollard was part of Mumbai Indians' winning squad in 2011, while Bravo played for Chennai Super Kings. Both franchises have qualified for the CLT20 again this year. Narine played for T&T last year, but has also made it through with Kolkata Knight Riders in his maiden IPL season, in which he was named player of the tournament.

According to Trinidad Express, Anil Roberts, the minister of sport, said an agreement had been reached with the three players to turn out for their national team and not their IPL franchise. CLT20 rules allow players to pick the team they wish to play for and in the past players had chosen their IPL franchises, which then compensated the players' home teams.

However, the Knight Riders team director, Joy Bhattacharjya said on Twitter that the franchise's chief executive, Venky Mysore, had indicated Narine would play for his IPL franchise.

Roberts said the players were close to signing a Memorandum of Understanding and following that the details of the individual contracts would be worked out. "All three players have said they want to play for Trinidad & Tobago. The government of Trinidad & Tobago have said they will match their fees, so that they will not lose anything.

"We want the best team. Some of the Indian teams, the owners are obviously a bit upset because they would love to have Sunil Narine, Pollard and Bravo but I told them quite upfront that we are being professional, that we are not holding anything in secret. We are not going to wait until the last minute and then steal the players from under them."

Roberts also said he had spoken to the franchises to explain the government's position. "I also explained to them, because some of them are quite upset ... I said, 'please for a moment, just picture Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar or [Suresh] Raina deciding or contemplating to play for a club ahead of India. I don't think that would even be a choice. I don't think they would even be able to set foot in their land of their birth if ever they even consider disappointing their countrymen and their country by playing for club for money'.

"So while they may be upset, I tell them I am very sorry they are upset, but the [T&T] population wants our best players, the government wants our best players. The players want to play for Trinidad & Tobago and they will play for Trinidad & Tobago."

T&T topped their qualifying group in part thanks to the performances of Narine and fellow spinner Samuel Badree, but narrowly failed to qualify for the semi-finals. T&T will play the qualifying tournament again this year.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on July 29, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (July 28 2012, 22:55 PM GMT) Not having a go at IPL here. Just stating to a poster who slates the CLT20 that it has more interest to fans from other countries

  • Jay on July 28, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    @JG2704 " I , personally find it very interesting to see how teams from different nations do against each other and unlike IPL it has added interest from more fans of different countries": The IPL is for Indians. As an England supporter you are not obligated to watch it. Do Indians care about your county games ? No ! It's the same thing. The IPL was fantastic this year and I loved every game of it. Most of India enjoyed it. It doesn't matter if fans from other countries don't enjoy it. The IPL is a proud Indian product and as Indians we love it. We also want team India to do well in all formats. It's like saying, I enjoy a nice, loud pub party but also appreciate homely, formal get together with family and relatives. You need to taste every dimension of cricket in a similar manner.

  • John on July 28, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta on (July 28 2012, 13:17 PM GMT) I , personally find it very interesting to see how teams from different nations do against each other and unlike IPL it has added interest from more fans of different countries

  • Dummy4 on July 28, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    What is "Champions League" being played for? ODI World cup (and T-20 World cup) is something I understand; competition to find out who among the cricket playing countries is the true World Champion at that moment. Here, 3 'clubs' from one county, 2 each from a couple of more, one each from a few others. and one representing one of the countries among the various ones among the West Indies! What is it? I don't understand. Why ICC is providing a window for it; let alone recognition! Scrap it, for God' s sake!

  • John on July 28, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    @ bigdhonifan on (July 26 2012, 18:39 PM GMT) - What a strange post there. Ronaldo never played for Porto and last played for a Portuguese club side 9 years ago. Also unlike cricket footballers only play for 1 club side at a time. And yes we all know how amazing IPL is and how helpful it has been in making the national team the success it is today

  • Balaji on July 27, 2012, 23:15 GMT

    I always found this strange. The CL has a situation where the Indian teams are all clubs and the other teams are all state or county teams, or in the case of West Indies, countries. So somewhere this club/country thing does not gel, country would come into play if it was Australia, West Indies etc. Where does the question of representing your country come in when this is not an international competition, it is just the domestic teams of various cricketing nations playing each other.

  • John on July 27, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @ satish619chandar on (July 27 2012, 03:46 AM GMT) Agreed - I wasn't (still am not sure) how the contract works for CLT20. Obviously if they have signed a contract for their IPL teams to play CLT20 then that's that. I wonder if there would even be a chance that the same players could sign similar deals for different countries T20 reps?

  • John on July 27, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @ rsgarcia on (July 26 2012, 13:27 PM GMT) Some probably think IPL made Warne , Murali , Gilchrist and Gibbs the players they are

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    I'd any day love to watch a full strength T&T play than the IPL teams. These guys are the band of brothers who play with their heart out and exhibit so much energy and passion. Hope these 3 guys play for T&T and add spice to the competition.

  • Anver on July 27, 2012, 9:28 GMT

    Hats off to those 3 players & sports minister !!!!!! certainly its an eye opener for any player who thinks franchise is everything & bigger than their motherland..... WI player's attitude has started changing a bit & definitely WI cricket is heading towards the right direction now...... Good Luck !!!!

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