Champions League T20 comes to SA
THE chances of a local team winning this year's Champions League T20 have been greatly improved by the decision to play the tournament in South Africa later this year.
Sundar Raman, a member of the tournament's technical committee, confirmed yesterday on Twitter that South Africa would host the T20 in October - for the second time in three years.
Johannesburg, Centurion, Cape Town and Durban were named as the venues for the fourth edition of the tournament, which was held in India last year.
South African T20 champions the Titans, and last season's runners-up, the Lions, will represent South Africa in the $6-million provincial-level event. The winning team will pocket $2.5-million.
In the 2010 Champions League in South Africa, the Eastern Cape's Warriors made the final at the Wanderers, where they lost to the Chennai Super Kings.
The Titans and Lions will be buoyed by the news that they will be playing at home.
The decision to move the tournament from India to South Africa was driven by a number of reasons, not least the Indian monsoons and a five-day festival in the east of the country.
Originally, The Times of India said the event would be held in India from October 10-28 at five venues - Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and New Delhi.
The governing council of the Champions League met last month to finalise format and venue, but were unable to reach a decision until yesterday's announcement.
One change from last season is the inclusion of Pakistan's domestic champions, Sialkot Stallions, which could go some way to repairing frayed sporting relations between India and its neighbour.
Teams that have qualified so far are Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians (all IPL), Auckland Aces (New Zealand), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies), Sydney Sixers and the Perth Scorchers (Australia) and the Titans and Lions (South Africa). The representatives from Sri Lanka and England have yet to be decided.