All set for Champions League Twenty20
8 October 2012
Hot on the heels of the ICC World Twenty20, the Champions League T20 bursts into action in South Africa on Tuesday, with two qualifying matches taking place at The Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Sri Lanka's Uva Next face Yorkshire of England, followed by New Zealand's Auckland Aces against Pakistan's Sialkot Stallions in the opening games.
Those four teams, along with England's Hampshire Royals and Trindad and Tobago from the West Indies, will play in two groups for two places, which will go to the top team in each group, in the final 10-team tournament.
Australia will be represented by the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Sixers, while South Africa's representatives are the Highveld Lions and the Titans. There are four Indian Premier League teams, including the Delhi Daredevils, the Chennai Super Kings, the Kolkata Knight Riders and the defending champion, Mumbai Indians.
"The Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 is a unique competition that showcases the domestic champions from around the world," Cricket South Africa acting CEO Jacques Faul said on the event's official website.
"We will be privileged to see superstars from all corners of the globe, such as Sachin Tendulkar (India), Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka), Shane Watson (Australia), Jacques Kallis (South Africa), Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) and Kevin Pietersen (England)."
Everything on track
After holding a successful meeting with the various operational teams for the tournament, Faul said everything is on track for a wonderful event. "We are fortunate to have at our disposal some of the game's most experienced administrators from India, Australia and South Africa."
Tournament director Naasei Appiah said the tournament would not only be about established stars, but also about emerging stars. "It is not only those stars who will thrill the fans both at the grounds and on ESPN Star Sports and its broadcasters around the globe, but also the emergence of a new era of stars who have yet to cut their teeth on the international stage," Appiah said.
"It is this quality of showcasing the best domestic T20 teams from around the world that makes the Karbonn Smart Champions League T20 such a special tournament."
Apart from the cricket, there will also be entertainment with local artists and DJs adding some oomph to the excitement at all four venues: Kingsmead in Durban, Supersport Park in Centurion, Newlands in Cape Town, and The Wanderers in Johannesburg.
The Indian Premier League, with its high-priced overseas stars, has produced two Champions League T20 winners. While the Mumbai Indians were crowned champions last year in Chennai, the Super Kings won it in 2010 on South African soil, defeating the South African-based Warriors in the final.
The New South Wales Blues were the very first Champions League T20 champions, outplaying Trinidad and Tobago by 41 runs in the 2009 final in Hyderabad, India.
This year's winning team will pocket US$2.5-million (approximately R22-million). The runners-up will go home with $1.3-million (R11.44-million), while each semi-finalist will receive $500 000 (R4.4-million).
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