Champions League Twenty20 2010 May 28, 2010

Pakistan disappointed at Champions League exclusion


The Pakistan board has expressed its disappointment at not having a domestic team invited to participate in the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa. This appears to be a u-turn on an earlier stance it had taken, when in the aftermath of the IPL snub to Pakistan players, Ijaz Butt, the PCB chairman, had ruled out the participation of any Pakistan team in the Champions League. That, says the chairman however, was not what he had said at the time.

"Those comments of mine were about the IPL and our participation in that event and not at all about the Champions League," Butt told Cricinfo. "I had said our players would not be in the IPL because of what had happened at the auction. I did not say that our domestic teams would not go to the Champions League. Why would I deprive them of that opportunity? My comments were misinterpreted."

Nevertheless, the confusion means that Sialkot Stallions, Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 champions five years running now, will again miss out on the most lucrative global club tournament in cricket. Sialkot, which won the RBS Twenty20 in March this year, could potentially include Pakistan players such as Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Asif, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Abdur Rehman and Abdul Razzaq. They were invited to take part in what would have been the inaugural Champions League at the end of 2008 but the terror attacks on Mumbai in November that year forced a postponement to 2009. By that time, relations between India and Pakistan having deteriorated, no team was invited from Pakistan.

"Nobody has invited us this year and that is disappointing," Butt said. "We asked them about it and we received no reply at all. We will take up this issue with the ICC. After all, why are we being discriminated against like this? Clubs from so many other countries are invited and our Sialkot side has done so well over the last few years."

A Champions League official, however, told Cricinfo that no Pakistan team had been considered for the 2010 tournament after Butt's statements in February. "Mr Butt had formally announced and communicated in February that no Pakistani team would be permitted to compete in the 2010 CLT20, and as Mr Butt is the Chairman of the PCB, the Governing Council of CLT20 could not and did not consider any invitations to Pakistani teams," the official told Cricinfo. "Unfortunately, due to the announcement by Mr Butt, it is now clearly too late to even consider the addition of Pakistani teams to the 2010 CLT20."

Gerald Majola, chief executive of Cricket South Africa, one if the founding members of the Champions League, also said it was too late to include a Pakistan team. "I don't think the PCB approached us," he told Cricinfo. "If that was the case we would've known earlier. Unfortunately it too late now, things have been finalised so there can be no question of sending an invite."

However, whether or not the league was ever considering inviting a team from Pakistan is open to question. Another tournament official told Cricinfo that "the plan was always to invite the same make-up of teams as 2009, with the understanding that if English teams were unavailable, the field would be reduced to 10 teams.

"To my knowledge PCB made no approaches to be included in this year's CLT20," he said. "There won't be any late invitations issued. The match schedule is being drafted at the moment and venues being finalised, so we're advanced in our planning."

That means Shahid Afridi, who helped South Australia qualify, could be Pakistan's only representative in the tournament this time round, although his national responsibilities until September 22 makes his participation uncertain as well. The number of teams taking part was reduced to ten this year (from 12) after the ECB said its sides could not take part because of a clash of dates with the end of the English domestic season. Other than Bangladesh and England this year, teams from all Test-playing countries participate in the tournament. The tournament is run jointly by the cricket boards of Australia, India and South Africa.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Pakistan is one of the finnest if not the finnest T20 teams around plus a former T20 Champion. I do not under stand why players of such class and talent are excluded. I fully support Pakistani domestic T20 team to be included in the champions league, I think they have erned it.

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    Champions league is rubbish, nobody like that. That is like u r playing cricket without bat so Champions league teams are playing without Really Champions. Pakistanis are really T20 Champions. Pakistani team record is best 1st time they reached final, 2nd Champions and 3rd time in Semi Final. So that's why i think Pakistanis T20 players are one of the best players in the world

  • Yasir on May 31, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    CL management is giving an extremely lame excuse... Lets consider this simple example you are getting married and having a reception. Now will you be invite the participants, or participants will be sending you their aspiration to attend??? This looks like an agenda to deprive Pakistan exposure to International cricket. Did other teams participating in the event sent requests themselves? Certainly No, they were invited by CL...What Butt said is one thing, but CL is not professional and honest themselves... I request Cricket supporters to boycott this event for the sake of cricket... I think this tournament is against the very spirit of the cricket, against the spirit of the game....

  • Farhan on May 31, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Simple fact: they dont want to lose!! They know that Pakistani T20 teams will kick some major butt and they are just sick of losing all their T20s to Pakistan. Lahore Badshahs won the ICL, the Pakistan team won the World T20 last year and the Faisalabad Wolves won the International 20:20 Club Championship back in 2005.

  • Wajih on May 30, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    I am a Pakistani and all of us bashing PCB and more importantly, PAKISTAN because of an incompetent chairman are not doing justice to the generations of world class players that Pakistan cricket has given to world cricket.

    Some points to ponder:

    1. Since the Indian government had distanced itself from any visa issues for Pakistani players during IPL 2010, the role of Mr. Modi is very questionable and Pakistanis had a right to feel hard done with by him. Fate has brought Modi to his knees and justice has been served.

    2. Butt should not have given even an informal statement regarding participation in CL at the time of whole IPL fiasco. That having been said, can the CLT20 organizers share any formal communication from the PCB to this effect? Will they really have treated Pakistan differently had Butt not made that statement?

    3. @ AditSingh: Get a life man. It's people like you sitting in the BCCI that mix politics with sports. What has PCB or players got to do with extremists dumbo?

  • Kiran on May 29, 2010, 16:52 GMT

    Looks like Ijaz Bhatt thinks international bodies run like PCB and Pakistan politics. This will teach him that when you are holding a formal position, you should not think and talk like a guy in a mob.

  • Rumesh on May 29, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    PCB is filled with incompetenant people. Today I read that they lifted ban on Shoiab Malik, reason being that his behavior has dramatically changed in last 3 months. What a joke..why go through the drama of banning 6 players and then reversing them in few days. That itself tells you the poor standard of PCB. The world is laughing at them. Cricket will be a better place without Pakis.

  • Aleem on May 29, 2010, 15:46 GMT

    This is nothing but Indian's showing their pathatic mentality and influencing on Australian and South African boards too .. to ignore Pakistani domestic teams. Well, everybody know that BCCI is the major fat cow for ICC so they always dictate their terms to the other boards. And now when the Indian Bannya mentality know that they are in dictating terms in world cricket due to their mass population milking good money for ICC, it was always on the cards that they would disadvantage Pakistanis in every possible way. I have no doubt that there are plenty of educated, sensible and more matured people in PCB to represent their cases with ICC and other cricket playing nations. PCB should play reverse diplomacy to get out of this scenario. Let Imran Khan lead PCB and see the change then, I recon.

  • aditya on May 29, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    its very simple why Pakistan is not invited. i am sorry to inform you Mr.Butt that your team or country is not facing discrimination but it faces a boycott. a boycott which should have come ages ago. this is a fair lesson for all who are extremists in nature. and sadly the price is been bared by those who are not. there is still time! use your resources to plough out and kill the extremist attitude & you will be invited by all with open arms.

  • Dummy4 on May 29, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    @abdul_faheem, Izaz Butt is brooding over split milk. He should learn a lesson or two with this exp. History said again & again and again FOLLOW THE POWERFUL TO SURVIVE. Just fall in line with Indian whims and wishes to help YOUR cash strapped PCB.

  • No featured comments at the moment.