Champions League expanded from eight to 12 teams
The domestic Twenty20 winners of West Indies, Sri Lanka and New Zealand, as well as Delhi Daredevils, will also get an opportunity to participate in the inaugural Champions Twenty20 League, to be held from October 8-23 in India, just after the Champions Trophy. Lalit Modi, the tournament's chairman, said the prize money for the tournament will be US$ 6 million, and the draw will be held in London on June 23 after which the venues will be finalised.
Delhi have been included on the basis of having topped the round-robin stage of the 2009 IPL. They will be joined by Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore, the 2009 IPL finalists.
Other 2009 domestic finalists and winners include Victoria and New South Wales (Australia), Cape Cobras and Eagles (South Africa), Otago (New Zealand), Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies) and Wayamba (Sri Lanka). England's Twenty20 Cup only begins on Monday and the finalists will only be decided on August 25.
There will be a total of 23 matches and the teams will be divided into four groups of three each to play on a league basis before the top two teams from each group move on to the second stage. The four top teams from there will play the semi-finals.
Last year's IPL finalists Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings will not be eligible. Sialkot Stallions, the winners of Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 tournament, will not feature as originally scheduled because their government has restricted travel to India.
"Unfortunately, the Pakistan government won't give them clearance to come to India, and since yesterday was out cut-off date, it's not possible to have a team from Pakistan this year," said Modi. "Delhi Daredevils this year have highest points from the league. But from next year, the third team from India will be decided from a play-off between the two losing semi-finalists."
Modi also said that players from the unofficial ICL could also represent their domestic teams, provided they resign from the league before May 31. However, if their domestic sides qualify for the Champions League those players will not be allowed to play as part of a "one-year cooling period".
The tournament was initially supposed to held from December 3-11 2008 in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore but was put off after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The cancellation came as a huge blow for the teams that qualified for the 2008 edition, as they would have received at least US$250,000 as participating fees. Each team gets a minimum guarantee amount for playing in the tournament.
On the night of the IPL final in Johannesburg, Modi said on television that the fourth season of the IPL, in 2011, could feature ten teams instead of eight.