Many of the 12 teams participating in the Champions League Twenty20, starting in Bangalore on October 8, face tough choices in selecting their final squads after officials released updated tournament rules today. These regulations will force teams like Delhi Daredevils, the IPL qualifiers, to cut down on their foreign strength to minimise a payout for "away" players - pegged at $200,000 for each player - and Sussex to omit Murray Goodwin because of the batsman's past links with the ICL. Deccan Chargers have already decided to let Herschelle Gibbs play for Cape Cobras, his home team.
Delhi have four foreign players - Dirk Nannes, David Warner, Andrew McDonald and Farveez Maharoof - whose home teams have also qualified for the tournament. They'd have had to shell out $800,000 as compensation for all four players but are planning to call up only two of them.
"Under CLT20 rules, provided a player qualifies for more than one team, all those qualifying teams can nominate that player," the tournament organisers said. "If the player then decides to play for an 'away' team rather than his 'home' team (the team from the country he is eligible to represent in international cricket), the 'away' team must pay US$200,000 compensation to the 'home' team." This process will obviously happen in consultation between the teams and the players involved.
Sussex, meanwhile, will have to do without Goodwin after it was confirmed that players who have played unofficial cricket will not be allowed to play in this edition of the tournament. However, the organisers said, teams are not disqualified from the 2009 CLT20 if they played rebel players in their qualifying tournament, provided they terminated their rebel contracts before May 31.
So, unlike last year, when Kent were barred for having ICL players in their squad, Sussex will not be disqualified for having played Goodwin in their domestic Twenty20 tournament, which is considered as the qualifying round for the Champions League. Goodwin, the former Zimbabwe player, quit the ICL before May 31.
Amrit Mathur, the chief operating officer of Delhi, confirmed that his team will reduce its foreign strength while submitting a preliminary list of 20 players by August 24, the first deadline. This list will be pruned to 15. "We have to maintain a balance between Indian and foreign players in the final 15," Mathur told Cricinfo. "Besides, we will also have to consider that there is a certain payment involved for fielding foreign players whose home teams have also qualified."
The case of Dwayne Smith, the West Indies allrounder, is interesting because he can play for Sussex and Deccan Chargers, neither of which is his home team. Although the rules don't stipulate any payment in such cases, there is nothing to prevent the teams from arriving at a separate arrangement.
"Once a team names its initial squad, CLT20 will assess which players have been listed for two or more teams," Dean Kino, Champions League's governing council member and director, legal and business affairs, said. "Players who have been nominated by multiple teams will then be contacted by CLT20 to nominate their chosen team. Players will then be given 24 hours to determine which team they wish to represent."
The Champions League Twenty20, which is a multi-nation multi-club event, was set to start on December 3 last year but was aborted after terrorists struck in Mumbai, one of the main venues, on November 26. This time, invitations have been extended to this year's domestic toppers from seven countries, including Deccan Chargers, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils (India), New South Wales Blues and Victorian Bushrangers (Australia), Cape Cobras and Diamond Eagles (South Africa), Sussex Sharks and Somerset Sabres (England), Otago Volts (New Zealand), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies) and Wayamba (Sri Lanka).