Champions League venues finalized

Mumbai: Matches in the September 10-26 Airtel Champions T20 League would be held in four grounds in South Africa - Wanderers in Johannesburg, St Georges Park in Port Elizabeth, Kingsmead in Durban and Centurion Park in Centurion.

The decision to play the matches in four SA centres was taken by the Governing Council of the League headed by BCCI president Shashank Manohar, it was announced today.

A total of 23 matches (the same number as 2009) would be held and the tournament format and match schedule would be decided at the next CLT20 Governing Council meeting on June 28 in Singapore, a media release said.

Ten teams from six countries, including three from India, have qualified for the cash-rich tournament with the other seven teams from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

IPL III champions Chennai Super Kings, runner-up Mumbai Indians and third placed Royal Challengers Bangalore would represent India in the tournament.

The other teams in the line-up are: Victorian Bushrangers, South Australian Redbacks (both from Australia), Warriors, Highveld Lions (both from South Africa), Central Stags (New Zealand), Wayamba Elevens (Sri Lanka) and the West Indies domestic T20 champions (to be decided in July).

CLT20 chairman Manohar said the Governing Council of the League was happy with the four venues recommended by Cricket South Africa.

"South Africa is widely regarded as a top international host nation, having successfully hosted most major international cricket events in recent years. The Governing Council is satisfied with the four venues that Cricket South Africa (CSA) have recommended," Manohar said.

"We are excited about the future of CLT20, and call on the South African public to come out and support the second edition of this tournament, which features the best of the best," he added.

CSA CEO, Gerald Majola, said they were proud to host the CLT20 League in the same year that South Africa was holding the FIFA World Cup.

"CSA is proud to be hosting CLT20 in what is an iconic year for South Africa with the Soccer World Cup currently being hosted here. We are encouraged by the eagerness of the four host venues to make this tournament a success," he said.

"CLT20 has already piqued the interest of South African fans, especially with the Lions and Warriors having qualified for this prestigious event. We are confident of hosting a successful CLT20," Majola said.

More than 75 per cent of the participating players are expected to be the international stars of the game, the release added.



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