Champions League news September 13, 2013

Champions League route cleared for Faisalabad

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Faisalabad Wolves, Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 champions, will travel to India to take part in the Champions League T20 after the Indian Embassy in Pakistan granted the players their visas following days of uncertainty.

The Faisalabad players had dispersed on Thursday evening from their training camp and went home assuming they would need time to pack if the visas were issued. The PCB had also told ESPNcricinfo that the visas had neither been issued nor denied. On Friday, the PCB asked the players to report at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore because the visas had been obtained, a Faisalabad player told ESPNricinfo.

The players are scheduled to depart in two batches; those in Lahore are due to leave on Saturday while three players in the Pakistan national team - Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Ajmal and Ehsan Adil - are due to fly from Zimbabwe on the completion of the current series. The last day of the ongoing second Test in Harare is on Saturday.

Faisalabad will be only the second Pakistan team to take part in the Champions League and the first in India - Sialkot Stallions competed in the 2012 tournament in South Africa. They play their first match on September 17 in Mohali against Otago Volts.

A team from Pakistan had been invited for the first edition in 2008 but that tournament was postponed because of the terror attacks in Mumbai and no further invitation was issued to Pakistan until 2012.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 14, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    This faisalabad team is a formidable bowling line up but batting is bit of a concern.the team depends on 3 or 4 batsmen to perform the rest or not too good. despite that full credit goes to a well gelled team thanks to misbah . this team has something about it because it beat teams which seamed much better to get to this stage. hopefully faisalabad make it to the main tournament

  • chechong0114 on September 13, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    What an awesome decision by the parties responsible to allow these players and this cricket team to enter India and participate in this great upcoming tornament. This is what the sport of cricket needs if it is to continue to grow, COMPROMISE in situations like this, I am absolutely certain that the tornament would be even more exciting with this team being a part of it. I long to see the likes of Afridi, Hafeez, the impressive stalwart Younis Khan and more Pakistani players playing in the IPL and I hope that they will be involved next year but for now this is a very good move. I am looking forward to this great tornament as well and hope that the spectator turn at the stadiums is much better than it was last year in South Africa.

  • Axii on September 17, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    every thing is going well BUT . . I have some concern about one thing , why Pakistan's domestic team have to play qualifying round while other countries domestic teams like west indies or austral is directly playing main round. ? is there any defined criteria for this or its just will of BCCI ? can anyone is there to answer this ?

  • Omer.Iftikhar on September 16, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    @Ramamoorthy, you make a valid point about ownership, but the fact remains that a CHAMPIONS League should include ALL T20 champions. Continue to have 3 IPL, 2 South African and 2 Big Bash teams, but instead of qualifying, just invite the T20 champs of PK, SL, ENG, NZ and WI. This gives you 12 teams to play with, and will ensure an even greater fan following. Plus, the extra matches and potential sponsorships and TV time would improve the owners' 'outcome', as you put it, in terms of increased revenues.

  • on September 14, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    i am not happy with the decision because i do not know who will bat from faisalabad side this is no batsman except misbah.

  • on September 14, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    For those Pak fans who complain about qualifying.... Pls note that his tournament is owned by BCCI (50% stake), CA & CSA 25% stake each. 3 teams from Ind, 2 each from Aus & SA in the main round is what their tournament plan. So 7 teams already there, as the 8th team T&T comes this time directly to ain round considering their consistent articipation every year. So 8 teams selected. This tournament is of 10 teams, only 2 places left, but 4 more teams ate there - Pak, SL, NZ, and one from Ind as they have 50% stake. Infact last year 2 more from Eng. Thats why this qualifying roud. Now got? If you want you also get some stake if allowed and send your teams to main round directly. Note as the tournament owners they have to think some outcome, money. For you its just participation.

  • on September 14, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    ridiculous thing is 4 ipl teams automatically qualify, while CHAMPIONS need to pass some qualifying round to play...totally biased and pathetic

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    IN SHA ALLAH Faisalabad Wolves will qualify for the Champions league and we hope they will win the champions league 2013..

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    Cheers.....Enjoy the game everyone...

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Never understood why the hell the Champions have to qualify and teams from IPL (except the champions) don't . this is absolute rubbish ...!!

  • on September 14, 2013, 1:51 GMT

    This faisalabad team is a formidable bowling line up but batting is bit of a concern.the team depends on 3 or 4 batsmen to perform the rest or not too good. despite that full credit goes to a well gelled team thanks to misbah . this team has something about it because it beat teams which seamed much better to get to this stage. hopefully faisalabad make it to the main tournament

  • chechong0114 on September 13, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    What an awesome decision by the parties responsible to allow these players and this cricket team to enter India and participate in this great upcoming tornament. This is what the sport of cricket needs if it is to continue to grow, COMPROMISE in situations like this, I am absolutely certain that the tornament would be even more exciting with this team being a part of it. I long to see the likes of Afridi, Hafeez, the impressive stalwart Younis Khan and more Pakistani players playing in the IPL and I hope that they will be involved next year but for now this is a very good move. I am looking forward to this great tornament as well and hope that the spectator turn at the stadiums is much better than it was last year in South Africa.

  • Axii on September 17, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    every thing is going well BUT . . I have some concern about one thing , why Pakistan's domestic team have to play qualifying round while other countries domestic teams like west indies or austral is directly playing main round. ? is there any defined criteria for this or its just will of BCCI ? can anyone is there to answer this ?

  • Omer.Iftikhar on September 16, 2013, 2:41 GMT

    @Ramamoorthy, you make a valid point about ownership, but the fact remains that a CHAMPIONS League should include ALL T20 champions. Continue to have 3 IPL, 2 South African and 2 Big Bash teams, but instead of qualifying, just invite the T20 champs of PK, SL, ENG, NZ and WI. This gives you 12 teams to play with, and will ensure an even greater fan following. Plus, the extra matches and potential sponsorships and TV time would improve the owners' 'outcome', as you put it, in terms of increased revenues.

  • on September 14, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    i am not happy with the decision because i do not know who will bat from faisalabad side this is no batsman except misbah.

  • on September 14, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    For those Pak fans who complain about qualifying.... Pls note that his tournament is owned by BCCI (50% stake), CA & CSA 25% stake each. 3 teams from Ind, 2 each from Aus & SA in the main round is what their tournament plan. So 7 teams already there, as the 8th team T&T comes this time directly to ain round considering their consistent articipation every year. So 8 teams selected. This tournament is of 10 teams, only 2 places left, but 4 more teams ate there - Pak, SL, NZ, and one from Ind as they have 50% stake. Infact last year 2 more from Eng. Thats why this qualifying roud. Now got? If you want you also get some stake if allowed and send your teams to main round directly. Note as the tournament owners they have to think some outcome, money. For you its just participation.

  • on September 14, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    ridiculous thing is 4 ipl teams automatically qualify, while CHAMPIONS need to pass some qualifying round to play...totally biased and pathetic

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    IN SHA ALLAH Faisalabad Wolves will qualify for the Champions league and we hope they will win the champions league 2013..

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    Cheers.....Enjoy the game everyone...

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Never understood why the hell the Champions have to qualify and teams from IPL (except the champions) don't . this is absolute rubbish ...!!

  • on September 14, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    best of luck faisalabad wolves inshallah you qualifing the champion league t20

  • on September 14, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    if misbah can replicate his same form in this tournament then there s no reason why this side cant qualify , one can agree that this team is short of big names like sialkot n lahore but to write them off is stupid thing to do , they have got great talent , best of luck

  • on September 14, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    having champions play in qualifiers is ridiculous, may be it suits for 2nd or 3rd number teams. Champions should refuse to play qualifiers.

  • on September 14, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    @Hassan Akhtar - Lol, Virat kohli is not playing in Champions League..and about Sachin bowled by Ajmal ?? Lets see first if Faislabad wolves wins the Qualifier or not..

  • cnksnk on September 14, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Some of the comments are truly amazing. Any article on this web site has to have folks getting into BCCI bashing and also either Sachin bashing and also Sachin worshipping by and equal number of his fans. Let us look at some of the instances. Indian Govt grants visa to Pak players and people say that BCCI has some how got the visas because they are looking at a tri series against Pakistan and SL. The fact ( for the knowledge of non Indians) is that while BCCI is influential , they will not be able to nudge the Govt on visa. The entire issue is political and also part national interest

  • cnksnk on September 14, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Contd... CA decides that Perth will not be a test centre next year as the stadium is not in good shape and that crowd ( revenues) are not great. However BCCI is supposed to have arm twisted CA since Perth is supposed to have a fast and bouncy pitch and Indians will not survive. CSA announces a schedule without consultation ( and remember even in that schedule CSA had indicated only 3 test and hence there was no greater intent to have 5 tests) and no one from CSA has made an attempt to take a flight and meet the BCCI folks in person. It is another matter that even though SA is the number 1 test side they have not played a 5 test series any where in recent times. SO BCCI takes the flak again. BCCI takes a stand on DRS. By common consensus the DRS has not removed howlers - be it becase of Hardware ( tech) or software ( umpires interpretation). However BCCI bashing continues. This is not a support of everything the BCCI does but surely it is not the (only ) proverbial villan in the story.

  • on September 14, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    Any peace move between the two neighbors is welcome. The tournament itself is meaningless.

    It is NOT an international tournament at any level. Even the contests between international "A" teams (or even "B" teams, if there is such a thing) is more meaning full; seeing teams playing for their respective countries. What are these guys playing for? Except for MONEY? This is a business contest, among owners who have different recruitment and compensation policies for their employees, (sometimes employees recruited from local market alone, and sometime globally)

    If cricket lovers watch it , it is only to see their favourite PLAYERS play. Nothing more than that. There are NO emotions involved.

  • BRUTALANALYST on September 13, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    Great news for all ! Pakistan cricketers and their fans bring so much to cricket I will be supporting T&T but good luck to the Wolves hope they do well.

  • on September 13, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    good

  • on September 13, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    BCCI has done this, only to skip South-African Tour of Iindia, because they knew Indian batsman can't play Stein in Southafrican conditions

  • on September 13, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    I hope they win it all. High time BCCI gets a taste of its own bitter medicine!

  • on September 13, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    I seriously doubtg that this will happen.

  • Fineline on September 13, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    Great move.Thanks India.

  • on September 13, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    I loved it. When i woke up today and saw this news I get very excited. Faisalabad Wolves go and prove the world.

  • borhans on September 13, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    if india didn't have the will to invite every country then they shouldn't participate in international leagues consist of 3 boards .

  • on September 13, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    Even top intellects - spare the politicians - in India do not get visa to other countries. Why do you expect some club cricketers visa to be processed as you like?

  • on September 13, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    now this time sachin,virat must b bowled from ajmal's ball

  • Desihungama on September 13, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    As a fan I welcome the move. Pakistanis have been cringing for not having the opportunity to have a go in India with other teams and now is their opportunity. The Faisalabad Team is much stronger than the one represented by Shoaib Malik Sialkot Stallions.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 13, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    A very fair move by the Indian government. When individual Pakistanis like singers, actors can tour India, why not an innocent cricket team with youngsters and some fine players like Misbah and Ajmal ? Thank you BCCI and I am sure the cricket lovers in Faisalabad and across Pakistan will respect this decision.

  • on September 13, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Good hope they do good in it nd goes to finals

  • yorkshire-86 on September 13, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    No one cares about the champions league. A mickey mouse cup where the teams of one country have stupid advantages - more teams, more foreigners per team, first refusal on players representing two teams, bypass qualification ect. There are only 2 T20 competitions that people care about, the world cup and the IPL.

  • on September 13, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    @Sukruti: Assumptions ! Assumptions !! And, more Assumptions. Almost to the point of being presumptous.

  • Sukruti on September 13, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    How come a sudden change in stance by India. Just because India does not want to play SA and trying to host Ind / Pak / SL tri-series, they thought allowing Pak domestic side to play CLT20 would work in its favor to get a nod from Pak national side to play in India. No professionalism in BCCI's approach nor the GoI's. A full test series with SA would have been a real challenge for India and to test the budding youngsters in the team. This is the difference between BCCI and other well organised cricket boards. If Test # 1 is in India's mind, then they should play against stronger teams and not against lower ranked teams, as any way defeating lower ranked teams does not fetch higher points, instead if they lose against lower ranked teams, they lose points at a faster rate. But India wants fatser cash growth!!!

  • on September 13, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    it doesnt matter, the clt20 will probably be cancelled and replaced with a 30 match india-sri lanka odi series

  • Afham_Kazi on September 13, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Good Move from Indian Government. politics and cricket must not cross each other. Good luck to Wolves.

  • InamKhattak60 on September 13, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Its nt a thankfulness from India, its just a game of cricket .. wherever u play it!

  • Crickeyboy07 on September 13, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    Who told you batting is weak, haven't you seen Misba name in the team squad.. he is enough to play complete 20 overs

  • on September 13, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Credit goes to BCCI and Government of India and Government of Pakistan for making it happen. I was expecting refusal of the visas and am pleasantly surprised to see they have actually issued visas. Many thanks to Indian Government for this opportunity for our players and hope they play more international cricket in the times to come.

  • Adnan-Ahmed on September 13, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Fantastic news, good to see the ugliness of politics didn't rear its head in this case. Go Wolves!

  • mzm149 on September 13, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    Good positive stuff from Indian government. Pakistani fans are thankful for this.

  • mani51214 on September 13, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    wow!!!!! its wondeful news.....

  • alipk52 on September 13, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Well why they play Qualifying games? there should be champion teams of each country directly participating in the event without having to go through qualifying stages, how many cricketing nations (test playing) are there? finger countable..so i don't see any need for that, i hope Misbah don't forget his technique with these t20s, bcoz he's only one right now in Pakistan, who is among the best batters in world cricket with super temperament!!

  • on September 13, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    That's the great news that Faisalabad Wolves has been issued visas to enter in CL-T20, 2013. This is also d good sign for both cricketing nations.

  • SaadRocx on September 13, 2013, 11:45 GMT

    Good move from Indian Govt..appreciation from (Pak fans) :)

  • on September 13, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    ohhhhhhhhhhhh yessssssssss will watch again the wall in t20 Love you misbah

  • on September 13, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    Great news for all cricket fans to see a team from Pakistan in the CL T20's.Good diplomacy India. Take the lead to ensure peace in the region.

  • on September 13, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    Well at least we will see once again India vs Pakistan clash in face of city franchises as Ravi Shastri would say the mother and the father of all matches India v Pakistan

  • on September 13, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    very well move from inidan goverment we hope its a opening of a batter relation between india pakistan for future & very wish good luck for misbah & company to qualify to the main round of CLt20

  • Stark62 on September 13, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    This is not good news because Saeed Ajmal has been playing non-stop and he will most likely be participating in this meaningless tournament.

    Let's just hope he doesn't get injured during the clt20.

    On another note, Faisalabad have a very potent seam attack comprising of Ehsan, Asad and Samiullah Khan, which will be helpful on those Mohali pitches but the batting is very, very weak.

  • on September 13, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    when does ir start

  • on September 13, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Faisalabad will be a surprise package in CLT20 . . . Just Watch

  • on September 13, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    i am not going to praise the teams or players here. i want to make a point about the national or international players. all the other teams have a bunch of many players contributing in different leagues all around the world. including Wolves. but on thing is quite mentionable is that conditions. South asia has the same pitches & conditions all over. you play in pak, ind, sri lanka or bangla desh you feel you are playing in a single country. and this is the only point that make the sound for Wolves. I am looking the wolves throu to the semi's this time even stallions could not make it in RSA. best of luck Wolvs.

  • Cric_fever_forever on September 13, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    smart move by bcci... they are organizing a tri series with pak later in dec in india (media sources ) how come that tri nation would be conducted if our local team isnt allow to participate in a tournament right now in india.

  • vish57 on September 13, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Good news for cricket fans; we all Indian cricket lovers enjoy the game of cricket played by pak team, their aggression and determination and fighting quality. Good luck to Faislabad Wolves to play good cricket, let the best team win.

  • Aizyv on September 13, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    only if lahore lions won the tournament they would have won clt20.That team has nasir jamshed ahmed shehzad muhammad hafeez umer akmal kamran akmal and wahhab riaz.The team won cz of misbahs performance,he was man of the series so if he dsnt perform in clt20, they dont have much chances

  • on September 13, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    good luck faisalabad wolves

  • Crickeyboy07 on September 13, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Make an T20 Impact, go Wolves...

  • hunain94 on September 13, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    I hope they perform well in qualifying games and made some name for themselves

  • on September 13, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Misbha and Co have full potiential to beat any team in the world....They just need to be very carefull in their strategy in the qualifying road... Faisalabad wolves has the combination of best International ( Misbha, Saeed Ajmal, Ehsan Adil)+ Domestic Talent ( Sami ullah Niazi, Asad Ali)... I see good prospect of this team

  • on September 13, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    win or lose is part of game..but all should show sportsmen spirit..But of Luck Faisalabad..Respect for all others

  • on September 13, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Good News & Best of luck Faisalabad ♥

  • imran45817 on September 13, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Now it will be a big challenge for Indian teams to retain the trophy. young guns are going to fire........>

  • ladycricfan on September 13, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    All the teams are top teams in their countries. They should all be treated equally. from next year qualifying rounds should be removed and the 12 teams devided into 2groups of 6 teams. Each team will play 5 games in their group. That makes 30 group games. + 2 semis and a final makes 33 games in all.

  • imran45817 on September 13, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    Good luck to faisalabd team under the leadership of Tuk Tuk Tuk Tuk

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Good news :-) I hope wolves qualify and though Faisalabad Wolves dont have many international players, they have a good T20 team !! All the best and welcome to INDIA :-)

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Really good news!!!at last pakistanis will watch champions league matches with interest :-)

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Good news :-) I hope wolves qualify and though Faisalabad Wolves dont have many international players, they have a good T20 team !! All the best and welcome to INDIA :-)

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Faisalabad will be a surprise package in CLT20 . . . Just Watch

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    plzz makee chamiopns league fantasyy

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    great ..... India is best we welcome Pakistani team ... hope u guys qualify in main tournament ... but after that MI CSK and RR ruin your dreams

  • Ibrarhunzai on September 13, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Faisalabad team has good chance to progress to main round. Win against domestic champions of newzealand and srilanka would guarantee their progress to the main round. Best of luck Team Faisalabad

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    good news :)

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    at last glad to hear

  • ShahbazSalamat on September 13, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    At least there should be any politics in sports...Lets hope FW qualify

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    nice !!! @least everyone can enjoy the champions league now !!! :)

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    nice !!! @least everyone can enjoy the champions league now !!! :)

  • ShahbazSalamat on September 13, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    At least there should be any politics in sports...Lets hope FW qualify

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    at last glad to hear

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    good news :)

  • Ibrarhunzai on September 13, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Faisalabad team has good chance to progress to main round. Win against domestic champions of newzealand and srilanka would guarantee their progress to the main round. Best of luck Team Faisalabad

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    great ..... India is best we welcome Pakistani team ... hope u guys qualify in main tournament ... but after that MI CSK and RR ruin your dreams

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    plzz makee chamiopns league fantasyy

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Faisalabad will be a surprise package in CLT20 . . . Just Watch

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Good news :-) I hope wolves qualify and though Faisalabad Wolves dont have many international players, they have a good T20 team !! All the best and welcome to INDIA :-)

  • on September 13, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Really good news!!!at last pakistanis will watch champions league matches with interest :-)