Champions League Twenty20 postponed to Dec

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Mumbai, Aug 14 (UNI) The Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa today jointly announced the rescheduling of the inaugural edition of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament from September-October to December 3-10.

The three founding member boards, in a release, today reiterated that the postponment of the tournament was a goodwill response to a request from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to consider new playing dates for 2008.

The first Champions League Twenty20 will now be contested from December 3-10, the three cricket boards said in the statement.

Venues and commercial partnership details will be finalised in the coming weeks now that the new dates have been set.

Eight teams, consisting of the reigning winners and runners-up from the domestic Twenty20 competitions in India, Australia and South Africa, plus the reigning Twenty20 champion Sialkot from Pakistan, and the reigning Twenty20 Cup champion from England, Middlesex, have been invited to contest the 2008 Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

The inaugural contest was announced on July 30 this year, offering teams 6 million dollars as prize money, the biggest prize money in world cricket for cricket at a domestic competition level.

The prize money, including 3 million dollars for the winning team, will be shared between the teams and their players. The Governing Council of the event together with its founding cricket boards believe, the significant prize money to be shared by teams and players will ensure that the benefits of the event will foster cricket's development by injecting new funding into domestic-level cricket and at the same time will handsomely reward domestic-level cricketers and provide a unique opportunity for a higher public profile for players at the level below international cricket.

The 2008 date change for the event was agreed to by the event's Governing Council after receiving an ICC request to consider alternative dates in 2008 in order to offer a clearer window after the ICC Champions Trophy, which is currently scheduled for September 2008.

''While the Champions League Twenty20 is a domestic tournament not affected by ICC Event rules, we have agreed to the ICC request as a gesture of goodwill,'' the joint statement added.

Lalit Modi, Chairman&Commissioner of the Indian Premier League and Vice President BCCI, said, ''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. There was a gap in-between the One-Day Internationals and Tests against the touring England squad and that will enable both the Rajasthan Royals and the Chennai Super Kings to regroup and focus on the inaugural edition of the Champions League Twenty20.'' England are scheduled to tour India in November-December to play seven One-Day Internationals and two Tests between November 14 and December 23.

To facilitate the change in Australia, Cricket Australia, Cricket South Africa and the Western Australian Cricket Association, as the venue operator, have also agreed to reschedule the 3 mobile Australia-South Africa Test due to be played at the WACA ground in Perth, Western Australia to start on December 17 2008 instead of December 12.

CA Chief Executive Officer, James Sutherland and CSA CEO, Gerald Majola said they had consulted players and player associations, the WACA and other stakeholders to assess the feasibility and impact of making the Test match playing date changes.

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