Champions League July 27, 2008

Bindra wants England to host Champions League

Cricinfo staff

IS Bindra: "I feel the ideal place for a Champions League is England in September" © AFP

IS Bindra, the principal adviser to the chief executive of the ICC, has backed England to host the inaugural Champions League tournament.

"My wish and hope is that we have it in England. I feel the ideal place for a Champions League is England in September," he told the Sunday Telegraph. "They will have spectators from all different countries, multi-racial crowds for all teams, it is the most cosmopolitan place."

The Champions League was initially supposed to be a 10-day event in late September and early October but the dates are yet to be firmed up as the BCCI and ECB lock horns over the issue of whether counties with ICL players should be allowed to participate.

When asked which board should run the Champions League, Bindra remained non-committal and stressed that he was now a part of the ICC and not the BCCI. "That's a matter of detail which the two boards (BCCI and ECB) can sort out. My job is to smooth inter-member relationship and if I can help facilitate, I will," he said. "I'm not BCCI now, I'm ICC. This September will be too soon, but it should be possible in 2009."

However, Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, continues to be adamant that the tournament will go ahead under India's terms. "We will go ahead, with or without the ECB," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "We have everybody on board going forward, apart from the ECB who have some reservations in terms of structure and ownership."

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph also reported that the ECB has lined up the royal family of Abu Dhabi as financiers of the Champions League, with ₤750m (US$1.49 billion) available over 10 years. The tournament is reportedly to be held in Abu Dhabi, with Sharjah to be used as a reserve ground.