Home > Cricket News > Champions League to begin on December 3

Champions League to begin on December 3

The inaugural Champions League Twenty20 will be played between December 3 and 10, instead of October, the organisers – the boards of India, Australia and South Africa – have announced. To accommodate the change, the first Test between Australia and South Africa in Perth has been pushed back from December 12 to December 17.

The eight-team tournament was initially scheduled to begin on September 29, the reserve day of the Champions Trophy, but the ICC was unhappy with its timing, given its close proximity to the Champions Trophy. It asked the three founding members of the Champions League to rethink, and they said they would revert in seven days.

It was expected last week that the dates would be postponed to early December, between England’s two-Test and seven-ODI tour of India.

No other international fixtures have been scheduled on those dates, allowing all players to participate. The tournament has been sandwiched between the India’s seventh one-dayer against England and the first Test in Ahmedabad, which start a day before and after the tournament respectively.

“We are happy that we were able to find a window during the first week of December for the inaugural edition of the Champions League Twenty20,” Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, said. “There was a gap in between the one-day internationals and Tests [in India] against the touring England squad, which will enable both the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings (the IPL finalists) to regroup and focus on the inaugural edition of the Champions League Twenty20.”

Gerald Majola and James Sutherland, the chief executives of the South African and Australian boards respectively, said they had consulted the players, players’ associations and the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) – the hosts of the Perth Test – before deciding the dates.

“We were pleased with the WACA reaction that the new playing dates offer local fans, including corporate groups wanting to entertain at the cricket, good dates for pre-Christmas Test match enjoyment, and we also took feedback from players that the changes could be accommodated without compromising what will be a defacto World Test Cricket Championship bout between Australian and South Africa during December and January,” Sutherland said.

Majola told Cricinfo that the organisers have “conveyed the new dates to the ICC and they are fine with it.” The venues and commercial partnership details will be finalised in the coming weeks.

The Champions Twenty 20 League comprises the Twenty20 domestic finalists from India , Australia and South Africa, Pakistan’s winner Sialkot and England’s champion Middlesex. The competition was announced on July 30, with a total prize money of US$ 6 million which will be shared between all teams.

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