Pakistan part of Champions League - Ashraf

Nasim Ashraf, the PCB chairman, has indicated that one team from Pakistan will be part of the inaugural Champions League, slated to be held later this year. Ashraf's statement comes less than a week after the official announcement of the Twenty20 tournament, which clearly stated the top two teams from domestic competitions held in Australia, India, England and South Africa would be vying for the US$5 million on offer.

"It is not correct that Pakistan is not in the Champions League," Ashraf told reporters in Karachi. "When the idea of this event was discussed in Mumbai sometime back I was there and the Indian Board, specifically the IPL governing body, invited Pakistan to send one team for the championship."

Senior board officials confirmed to Cricinfo that the PCB had been told they were part of the plans for the first Champions League. When asked whether a Pakistan team had been invited for the event, Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman and commissioner, said, "Nothing has been finalised yet. I can comment on this only after the BCCI meets on June 22 to discuss these issues."

Ashraf is currently in Bangladesh to attend the final of the Kitply Cup between India and Pakistan, and he is expected to take the matter up with BCCI officials.

Pakistan, though, haven't held their domestic Twenty20 competition - the ABN-AMRO Twenty20 - since December 2006, and scheduling problems have resulted in this year's tournament being postponed to August.

Western Australia and Victoria from Australia, Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from the IPL along with the Dolphins and Titans from the Pro20 in South Africa have already qualified for the Champions League. They will be joined by the two finalists from the English Twenty20 Cup, which concludes on July 26.