New Delhi: IPL 4 runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore and Warriors of South Africa will kick off the third edition of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) tournament in Bangalore on September 23.
The Group B clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium will be the second occasion when the venue will get to host the opening fixture of the T20 league.
Group A action gets underway the following day with a double header in Chennai with Cape Cobras facing New South Wales Blues in the first match, followed by an IPL battle between Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s Chennai Super Kings and Sachin Tendulkar`s Mumbai Indians.
While Group A consists of defending champions Chennai, Cape Cobras, 2009 CLT20 champions NSW Blues and Mumbai Indians; Group B has, besides RCB and Warriors, Big Bash winners South Australian Redbacks.
The fifth team in Group A will be the side that finishes on top of Pool B in Qualifiers, while the top two teams from Pool A Qualifiers will complete Group B.
The tournament returns to India with Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata scheduled to host the main round, with Hyderabad conducting the qualifying matches.
While the qualifiers will run from September 19-21, the main tournament will start from September 23, with the final slated for October 9 in Chennai.
With seven teams already qualified, a six-team qualifying event will be held for the first time to determine the final three participants.
The group stage of this year`s tournament follows the same format as 2010.
The 10 teams have been divided into two groups for a round-robin phase before the top two teams from each group progress to the semi-finals.
The qualifier will be held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, while Kolkata`s Eden Gardens, and Bangalore`s Chinnaswamy Stadium and Chennai`s Chidambaram Stadium will host the group matches.
Banaglaore and Chennai have also been awarded the semi-finals, to be held on October 7 and 8, respectively.