Champions Twenty20 League August 21, 2009

McCullum commits to Otago for Champions League

Cricinfo staff

Brendon McCullum has confirmed that he will be playing for Otago Volts in the inaugural Champions League. The wicketkeeper-batsman also said that he was not interested in playing for New South Wales, after the Australian domestic team showed keen interest in using his services for the tournament to be played in India from October 8 to 23.

McCullum, who featured for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, was one of several players eligible to play for two sides in the upcoming Champions League, which features 12 domestic teams from across the globe. He helped the Australian side win the Twenty20 Big Bash final and also played a key role in Otago's successful run in the State Twenty20 title.

The Champions League council released a statement yesterday saying teams could list players who were eligible for more than one squad, and that it would be up to the player to decide where he would play.

"Yes, Brendon McCullum has elected to play for Otago in the Champions League. He made this decision about two weeks ago," Ross Dykes, the Otago Cricket Association chief executive, told Cricinfo. A Cricket New South Wales spokesman also said that McCullum had told chief executive Dave Gilbert that he would play for the New Zealand domestic team.

Under the Champions League tournament rules, New South Wales would have had to pay $US200,000 ($NZ298,000) to Otago for McCullum's services.

Otago had originally picked McCullum for the 19-member provisional squad for the tournament and Dykes said he always had been confident that he would play for them. Dykes confirmed that the squad which will be cut to 15 next month. "We will trim our squad to 15 on about September 12-15," he said.

Otago have been placed in group C in the Champions League, alongside IPL runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore and Standard Bank Pro20 champions from South Africa, the Cape Cobras.