South African news August 19, 2009

Domestic season readies for early start

Cricinfo staff

South Africa's domestic season will start earlier than usual this year due to the Champions League, scheduled to be held in India from October 8-23. The CSA said in a press release that the season would commence earlier - in September as opposed to October - with the SuperSport Series starting on September 17.

The two South African representatives in the Champions League, the Cape Cobras and the Eagles, will play two matches each next month in an attempt to avoid fixture congestion.

"There have been no changes to the formats of any of the three competitions - the four-day Supersport Series, the 50-over MTN Domestic Championship and the Standard Bank Domestic Pro20 - but what has changed is that the domestic professional season will start in September," the CSA release said.

"This has been done to accommodate two SuperSport Series fixtures each for the Cape Cobras and the Eagles who will be out of the country for much of October as CSA's representatives in the Champions League tournament in India.''

The Champions League will be played across Hyderabad, Delhi and Bangalore and will feature 10 other domestic Twenty20 teams from across the globe - Victoria, New South Wales (Australia), Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils (India), Sussex, Somerset (England), Wayamba (Sri Lanka), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies) and Otago (New Zealand).

The Cape Cobras have been placed in Group C along with IPL runners-up Bangalore and New Zealand domestic Twenty20 champions Otago and the Eagles will up be up against Twenty20 Big Bash winners New South Wales and English champions Sussex in Group B.