US$5 million on offer for the winners June 7, 2008

Million-dollar Twenty20 Champions League announced

Cricinfo staff

The inaugural Champions League tournament, involving the domestic Twenty20 finalists from England, Australia, South Africa and the IPL, will take place over a 10-day period in late September and early October with US$5 million on offer for the winners.

The fine detail is yet to be confirmed, but Cricket Australia are currently drawing up the regulations which will deal with the issues of Indian Cricket League players and potential conflicts for players involved with more than one team.

It is possible that the Indian board will be generous towards ICL players after the success of IPL. It was also agreed, verbally, between the boards that foreign players will turn out for their local teams in the tournament. That undertaking was sought by the England and Australia boards at a meeting in Singapore.

However, it has been confirmed the event will feature 15 matches over 10 days, and will take place in either the Middle East or India. Alongside the huge sum for the winners, there will be significant prize money for the teams finishing second, third and fourth.

Stuart Broad, the England quick bowler, is excited by the move. "It's certainly an incentive for domestic sides to take Twenty20 seriously which can only help the international team," he said after the third day's play against New Zealand. "I've always thought Championship cricket is the priority because it develops players for Test cricket and that's the ultimate. But this could change the emphasis."

Western Australia and Victoria from Australia, Rajasthan and Chennai from the IPL along with the Dolphins and Titans from the Pro20 in South Africa have already qualified. They will be joined by the two finalists from the English Twenty20 Cup, which starts next week.

Following meetings late last week between the ECB, represented by chairman Giles Clarke and chief executive David Collier, Cricket Australia's chairman Creagh O'Connor and chief executive James Sutherland, an agreement was reached yesterday between Clarke, IPL commissioner and BCCI representative Lalit Modi, and Cricket South Africa president Norman Arendse.

"We are extremely grateful to our great friends from Australia, India and South Africa for their hard work and determination to get this tournament off the ground," Clarke said. "The Twenty20 Cup will be even more fiercely contested this season in the knowledge that the two teams who reach the final will qualify for the Champions League and the chance to win US$5 million."

This event throws up a number of potential conflicts, not least involving an players linked to the unofficial ICL. Chris Read, Vikram Solanki, Stuart Law, Niall O'Brien and Paul Nixon all appeared in the ICL, and if their counties qualify their inclusion will be a major conflict with the Indian board.

The other issue that will occur is involving players who are contracted to more than one of the teams involved, for example Mike Hussey who played for Chennai in the IPL and is also from Western Australia. The clash could also happen with overseas players in county cricket, for example David Hussey, who plays for Nottinghamshire and Victoria.

Somerset chief executive Richard Gould admitted to Sky Sports News: "We've already had some discussions and we're basically looking to mirror what the IPL contracts are. It was first mooted at the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa and it's taken a while but now it's there, I think it's brilliant for club cricket. It gives it much more juice."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Maaz on June 11, 2008, 7:16 GMT

    I think Mr. Modi & BCCI is showing some Financial Muscle Power being the Richest Cricket Board in the world pressurizing the other boards not to allow the players who played in ICL regardless to the country or the caliber of player itself. Being an Indian i proud of being a citizen of the Richest Cricketing Country but i feel It's absolutely crazy. You can't run anyone through your power it's dictatorship in Cricket. We never allow dictatorship in any country so how can anyone tolerate it in this gentleman's game. I suggest to the Cricketing dictators, to give some smooth options to the players who played ICL, in order to include them in other T20 Championships played in any part of the world. Otherwise, the cricket fans feel upset not to see some real talented players like, Shane Bond, Abdul Razak, Ian Harvey, Russel Arnold etc. I advise Mr. Sharad Pawar & recently famous Mr. Lalit Modi to re-consider my opinion and i see this in the favor of cricket. Thanks in Anticipation. Nawel Maaz.

  • Bazi on June 11, 2008, 5:47 GMT

    I am surprised at karthi52's comments. They are a piece of subjective anti-Pakistan rhetoric, unfortunately noways good for him. PPL is a good initiative and PCB must pursue it though with proper homework and capacity even if it take some time to do that. Any show put together in a hurry will surely be a flop one. If the Champion's league concept has to be developed then each country will have to have a sound 2020 competition, which will produce the champs league teams. Pakistan already has one, but PPL will make its canvas broader. This will also mean that in future IPL's scale will slowly become smaller if the players opt for their local clubs. A player- playing for 2 clubs concept can't sustain for long. IPL, it must be remembered was successful because of whole hearted support of ICC, all important test countries and especially Pakistan, which helped India whole-heartedly with the boycott of ICL and then the approval of IPL. The dynamism and scale of Indian market was no doubt also a significant factor.

  • michael on June 11, 2008, 0:26 GMT

    Players should be made to play for the first team they represented. David and Michael hussey, Cameron white, Shaun marsh and many others should represent their australian teams before their English county or IPL teams. I guess this would not apply to Shane warne any more since he has retired from English and australian domestic cricket.

  • Praveen on June 10, 2008, 13:37 GMT

    The Cricket started club format in 18th century like MCC, HCC forgotten them for more than 100 years.Now after success of European football clubs they remember there is some thing other than national sides for highest level of cricket. In the haste of earning money there are so many confusions like players in more than one team in the same competition, its really funny. One should ask these boards first come on almost same format then pick two top teams from all the test playing nations.There are corporate houses in every country ready for owning a team. Even small European countries have more than 200 professional Football Clubs. Let the club system be more mature in cricket. Also leave t20 for clubs only (test and odi for national)and earn money and territory outside test nations. And the regular domestic competitions must take care of first class(ranji trophy and sheffield shield etc.) t20 club matches can be on weekend and domestic on weekdays.then think of a better Champions League...

  • karthikeyan on June 10, 2008, 9:48 GMT

    Don't talk about icl. icl is started by failures.all the people who are involved in it are failures.from players to broadcasters to management. Shane bond rightly deserves the ban.How can he participate in icl rather than for New Zealand team, icl will never succeed. My many thanks to cricinfo for doing excellent job for cricket. Only error lalit modi did was to cut the access to cricinfo. I wonder if websites like sify,rediff,ndtv were able to put the photos ,then why not cricinfo. Lalit modi did a remarkable job. But in the next season ,he should give access to cricinfo. Lalit modi shou ld be happy ,for the way cricinfo covered the entire ipl,which no one did. All the sites showed more negatives than positives. But cricinfo only showed positive things. I monitored all the sites,by the way

  • Dev on June 10, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    It is wonderful that we are seeing our chennai super kings team back in the ground competing with some fine competitors but the result is that the series will promise lot of fire works and good season for the audience entertainment confirmed.

  • Maaz on June 10, 2008, 5:30 GMT

    I agree with Bazi's comments that, Pakistan is a pioneer team in T20 format, i guess it's quite difficult to decided the strongest team in T20 format whether it's India or Pakistan. So, inclusion of Pakistan at least is must in this Championship and without them, it's like a club cricket championship. Also I agree with some comments of Stephen, it's huge disappointing not to see the New Zealand Stars in this championship. So, what if Bond played ICL, you can't lose a caliber player like him just because he played ICL. He too played a cricket game in ICL not gambled or match fixing to ban him and other big guns like him. I say Bond is most decent Fast Bowler in the world who has a neat career never seen any aggression on the field like others. I also favor few comments of Karthik and i have the favorites like him, but he may be wrong in guessing the champion team, it's strongly expected to be Rajasthan again with the inclusion of Warne, Pathan, Watson and Tanveer the Big Guns of T20.

  • karthikeyan on June 10, 2008, 5:06 GMT

    I am surprised when pcb started thinking about ppl. I am sure that it will fail like icl. Let me know that how many international players will participate in the league.Definitely Australia,New Zealand, will not participate. England did a lot of thinking to allow their players to ipl.Only after the success of ipl they are willing to send them.But definitely no Australians will come, i doubt over SA, i think they may also not participate.Only srilanka,and west indies will participate because of money.For India money does not matter.They have earned money in India itself. They wont care,even if pcb offers some millions,may be pcb can invite players from bangladesh,zimbabawe,ireland,scotland,etc. you name it.they told aboutt eight sri,wi,ire,bang,zim,ken,ire,scot.. this is correct.this will be good joke in cricket. Finally cricket is not entirely about money..we have seen that in ipl.i haven't watched for cheer leaders

  • Bazi on June 9, 2008, 23:52 GMT

    For the very kind info of Java1234 mistry72(Who are factually wrong in their comments or un-informed),Pakistan is the pioneer of 2020 cricket itself(Ramdam cup for decades) local twenty20 club championships also.Faislabad Wolves were the 1st local champions way back in 2004 or 5.They then won a then-version of the local clubs champions league held in ENG in 07', which was neither publicized nor that lucrative. So perhaps you should improve your knowledge about other countries' cricket structures first before giving blank statements.

    Please also read the posts of orvilled, loser989, sallubhai, chakdey, Khicoach, Canuckistani, zain_toronto, Naseer,Cricket4Shafiqand also my previous one for ground facts.

    The plan of the big 4 seems to use their and all the 'other' countries' players for their local clubs since else where the star value of teams will dwindle. So in reality, it'll be more of a facade than nothing else with the real local clubs playing.

    Inclusion of at least Pakistan is inevitable.

  • Stephen on June 9, 2008, 23:28 GMT

    I don't know why people saying that NZ probably wasn't invited to this because we don't have a domestic T20 comp. Well we had one for at least the past three seasons!! Canterbury won the first, Auckland the second and Central districts won the third season. It is more likely we are not invited because they don't think they will make much money by having us in the tournament. Or it's because pretty much every one of our teams has a ICL player in it. NZ has obeyed the BCCI by not using Shane Bond (and other ICL players) in the international team which has hurt us. So for the BCCI not to invite us is an insult. It's time to show the BCCI the door and start using Shane Bond and other ICL players. Who cares if we don't play India again, and they probably don't care if we play them because they won't make money out of us.

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