Champions League pushed back to October 2009
The inaugural Champions Twenty20 League has been pushed back by a year and will now be held in India in October 2009, the window originally identified for the tournament's second edition.
The tournament was scheduled to be held from December 3-11 in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore but was put off after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
The organisers - the BCCI, Cricket Australia (CA) and Cricket South Africa (CSA), meeting in a teleconference on Friday - said they took the decision to cancel the event "after considering all aspects, including the international calendar and the domestic schedules of the participating teams".
It is understood that there is a provision to push back the tournament's ten-year cycle by a year in the organisers' arrangement with ESPN-Star Sports (ESS), the broadcasters, though it would mean teams would have to qualify afresh for the tournament.
The initial plan was to hold the tournament in early 2009 but the home and away series between Australia and South Africa, and the domestic Twenty20 fixtures of those countries, made it an impossible task. The participation of India's players was also dependent on the status of next year's tour of Pakistan. Eventually, the organisers decided to use the proposed second season dates for the inaugural edition.
While it is likely the tournament will now have more teams - possibly up to 12 from the eight slotted for this year - next year's Twenty20 domestic finalists from India, Australia and South Africa will definitely take part. "Other participating teams will be finalised by the end of January 2009," a press release stated.
The cancellation comes 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 from the total pot of US$6 million. These teams will now have to try and make the cut all over again, officials confirmed.
Apart from Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings, the IPL finalists, the original line-up included Western Australia and Victoria, Australia's domestic Twenty20 winners and runners-up; South Africa's Pro20 finalists Titans and Dolphin; England's Twenty20 Cup champions Middlesex; and Sialkot Stallions, the winners of Pakistan's domestic Twenty20 tournament.