New Delhi: Nine international cricketers, including Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Brett Lee, have opted to play for their IPL frachisees instead of their home teams in the Champions League Twenty20 scheduled next month.
Champion domestic teams from a record eight countries will chase the USD 2.5 million first prize from a total pool (including participation fees) of USD 13 million, the organisers said in a statement.
"The fourth edition of the Champions League Twenty20 is only a few weeks away. The squads that will be playing in the tournament speak for themselves. They comprise the finest cricketing talent on this planet," said N. Srinivasan, Chairman, CLT20 Governing Council.
"We are in for some extraordinary cricket, in what will surely be a thriller of a competition."
Kieron Pollard, Mike Hussey, the Morkel brothers (Albie and Morne), Sunil Narine and Mike Hussey were among the nine players named initially by more than one squad which required each player to nominate the team they would play for.
All players chose to play for their `away` team. So, Pollard will turn up for the Mumbai Indians instead of his home team of Trinidad and Tobago while Brett Lee (Sydney Sixers) will be in action for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
"Last year`s tournament showed the fine line between making the finals and early elimination. Given the high stakes and small margin for error in the Qualifier and Group Stage, some of world cricket`s biggest names who are eligible for more than one team have been in high demand," said Dean Kino, CLT20 Governing Council Member and Director of Legal and Business Affairs.
"According to CLT20 rules, if a player qualifies for more than one team, all those qualifying teams can nominate that player.
"When a player decides to play for an `away` team rather than his `home` team, the team from the country he is eligible to represent in international cricket, the `away` team must pay USD 150,000 compensation to the `home` team," he added.
The Champions League Twenty20 will feature a record 14 teams from India (4), Australia (2), South Africa (2), England (2), New Zealand (1), Sri Lanka (1), West Indies (1) and Pakistan (1) for the first time.
Eight teams have automatically qualified for the Group Stage while the remaining six teams will compete for the remaining two places via a Qualifier.
The Qualifier will start on October 9 before the Group Stage on October 13. The final will be played on Sunday October 23 in Johannesburg.
Last year`s Champion Mumbai Indians and 2010 Champion Chennai Super Kings headline the returning teams. Both teams will be playing in their third CLT20 tournament along with Trinidad and Tobago, the 2009 CLT20 Finalist.
Of the other teams, Highveld Lions, Auckland Aces, Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders are making return visits.
Six teams will be making their first appearance in the tournament -- England`s Hampshire and Yorkshire, South Africa`s Titans, Pakistan`s Sialkot Stallions and Australia`s two new Big Bash League Twenty20 teams, the Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers.
Players nominated by more than one team: Dwayne Bravo - Trinidad & Tobago/Chennai Super Kings, Francois du Plessis - Titans/Chennai Super Kings, Sunil Narine - Trinidad & Tobago/Kolkata Knight Riders, Mike Hussey - Perth Scorchers/Chennai Super Kings, Mitch Johnson - Perth Scorchers/Mumbai Indians, Brett Lee - Sydney Sixers/Kolkata Knight Riders, Albie Morkel - Titans/Chennai Super Kings, Morne Morkel - Titans/Delhi Daredevils, Kieron Pollard - Trinidad & Tobago/Mumbai Indians.