The inaugural Champions Twenty20 League, scheduled to begin in Mumbai on December 3, has been postponed following Wednesday's terrorist strikes in the city. The tournament is likely to be held in India early next year, Lalit Modi, the Champions League chairman, told Cricinfo. However, a spokesperson for Cricket Australia, the founding members of the league along with the BCCI and Cricket South Africa, said it would be tough to include the tournament in the already-cramped schedule for 2009.
"We are confident we can hold the tournament early next year," Modi said. "India will remain the venue, as there was never a problem with hosting it here. All the teams agreed that they wanted to come for the tournament. But we had a problem with finding a third venue after Mumbai. There was no way we could have shifted the venue to Bangalore or Chennai, considering the state of the wickets and the grounds would not have accommodated all the matches."
It won't be easy for the organisers to find a window for the Champions League early next year. Modi said the governing council meet in the middle of December to finalise fresh dates for the tournament. "We don't from a CA point of view have an immediate idea on when it might be rescheduled," Peter Young, the Cricket Australia's public affairs manager, told Sky Sports. "That's not a decision that gets made in the first day or two of these things.
"The calendar is very busy, that will be an issue. I don't know if we'll form a view on an ideal time for a few days at least, maybe longer." Australia are engaged in home and away series against South Africa, India are due to tour Pakistan and West Indies host England in a four-Test series in February. The one clear break in the international calendar is taken up by the second season of the IPL, due to start in April.
A series of terrorist strikes in Mumbai on Wednesday night left at least 100 dead and 250 injured; the situation had not settled by Friday evening, with Army troops joining the security operations. "We held consultations among all the stakeholders including the founding members, the participating teams and members of the governing council after the unfortunate terrorist attacks in Mumbai on Wednesday night," Modi had said in a statement. "It was agreed that in the best interests of all concerned, the inaugural edition of the Champions League should be postponed."