Champions League to be held in India, England doubtful

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London, Jul 28 (UNI) Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Vice-President Lalit Modi made it clear that the Champions League Twenty20 tournament will be played this year in India but may not feature a team from England.

Modi said the tournament would be played from September 29 to October 8 at three venues - Jaipur, New Delhi and Mohali.

He also said England cricketers were unlikely to feature in the tournament as their Board was unreasonably objecting to various rules and regulations, the ban on ICL players, the share-holding pattern and profit-sharing formula.

The details of the tournament, would be finalised in Mumbai on Wednesday at a meeting to be attended by officials from the BCCI, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) but England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will go unrepresented.

''We are going ahead with the tournament whether England joins up or not,'' Modi was quoted as saying by 'cricinfo'.

''South Africa and Australia are fully on board with the various rules and regulations but the ECB is being unreasonable and continues to have objections to issues like the shareholding pattern and the governing structure. But we can't wait any longer and we are going ahead. It's now up to the ECB to decide whether it wants to join us or not,'' he said.

With England participation in doubt, Pakistan has been convinced to replace them in the League, which was originally scheduled to feature top two Twenty20 domestic teams from India, Australia, South Africa and England.

''I can confirm that Pakistan will send a team because even if the ECB joins us, only one team from England can participate, which is Middlesex,'' Modi said.

''As for New Zealand, Sri Lanka, or even West Indies, they will all be taking part from next year, anyway, when we expand to 12 teams. One of them will send the eighth team this year, if the ECB stays away and refuses to send even Middlesex.'' The dates for the tournament clash with a tour game for Australia ahead of their first Test against India on October 9 but Modi said the issue will be sorted out on Wednesday. Matthew Hayden and Michael Hussey, who are part of the IPL's Chennai Super Kings, which has qualified for the Champions League, are also expected to be part of the Australian team for that practice match in Hyderabad from October 2-5.

Modi's statement comes on a day the English press reported that the ECB, which has been at loggerheads with the BCCI over issues regarding an international Twenty20 tournament, was finalising a ''rival'' Champions League, to be held in Abu Dhabi.


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