New Delhi: A record 13 teams will be vying for top honours in the Champions League Twenty20 which will be held across three cities Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore from September 23 to October 9.
According to media release, Bangalore will host the inaugural match of the third edition on September 23, it will also host a semi-final. Chennai will host a semi-final and the final slated on October 9.
Apart from seven top T20 teams who have automatically qualified for the main round, there are six other teams who will be engaged in a qualifier from which the top three will qualify.
The seven teams that have automatically qualified are IPL champions plus defending CL T20 champions Chennai Super Kings, IPL runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore, third placed Mumbai Indians. The other four teams are South Australian Redbacks and New South Wales Blues from Australia, Warriors and Cape Cobras from South Africa.
The six-team qualifier that will be held in Hyderabad from September 19-21 features Kolkata Knight Riders who have been invited to play by virtue of finishing fourth in the IPL.
Apart from KKR, there will be New Zealand T20 champions Auckland Aces, West Indies T20 champions Trinidad and Tobago, along with two County teams from England and a team from Sri Lanka.
The Champions League governing council hasn`t tinkered with the format of the league. The 10 teams will be divided into two groups and the top two from each group will qualify for the semi-final.
New South Wales Blues and Chennai Super Kings were the winners of the first two editions.