Middlesex, England's Twenty20 champions, will be part of this year's Champions Twenty20 League, Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman, has confirmed.
David Collier, the ECB chief executive, informed Cricket Australia, one of the three founding partners of the Champions Twenty20 League, that Middlesex will be participating in the tournament starting September 28, and added that they would be interested in sending two teams for the tournament from next year.
"It's very good news for world cricket," Modi told Cricinfo. "We are extremely happy to have Middlesex on board. This makes the tournament complete in every manner."
Middlesex will join two teams each from India, Australia and South Africa and Pakistan's Sialkot in the eight-team competition.
The participation of a team from England was in doubt till a couple of days ago after the ECB conveyed that it had reservations about some of the rules and regulations, especially the one that banned players associated with the unauthorised Indian Cricket League (ICL). The no-ICL rule had prevented Kent, the other Twenty20 Cup finalists, from qualifying for the tournament which was originally conceived for the Twenty20 domestic finalists from India, Australia, South Africa and England.
However, Modi had told Cricinfo in an interview minutes after the Champions League was announced in Mumbai on Wednesday that an invitation was "still open" for Middlesex whose entry would ensure a "wholesome tournament".
India, Australia and South Africa are the three founding partners of the Champions League which will be held from September 29-October 8. Modi had previously said that the tournament would be held in Jaipur, Delhi and Mohali this year but has since put that decision on hold.
"Ideally we would like to conduct the games at the venues announced originally but there are offers from other people and the members decided to examine all the options and not to decide right now," Modi said.