Wellington: New Zealand’s Twenty20 champion team is no longer guaranteed a spot at the rich Champions League, potentially costing each major association thousands of dollars in guaranteed revenue.
Auckland Cricket Association chief executive Andrew Eade said a four-team qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka in mid-September was all but confirmed.
IPL chief executive Sundar Raman spilled the beans in a recent Twitter posting.
That would involve the New Zealand champions [Auckland], along with the top Sri Lankan and West Indies sides, and the fourth-placed Indian Premier League team [the Kolkata Knight Riders], a newspaper reports.
The top two sides would qualify for the main 10-team tournament, scheduled to start on September 23 in India.
“The rumours are getting stronger and stronger, we’re just awaiting official confirmation that it’s actually going to happen,” Eade said.
Eade feels that the shift was to try and involve a fourth IPL team to broaden the tournament’s appeal to the Indian audience.
New Zealand’s T20 champions contested the first two Champions League tournaments but didn``t win a match.
Otago lost both their matches in 2009 and Central Districts were winless from four group matches in South Africa last year.
Still, it was lucrative for NZ Cricket, with the five non-participating major associations each banking around 65,000 dollars last year from their agreed share of the participation fee. Central received double that figure under the agreement.