Champions League T20 dates put English counties in fix

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has asked the organisers of Champions League Twenty20 to rework the event’s schedule as a clash of dates with the domestic season could prevent the counties from playing in the cash-awash tournament.

Champions League chairman Lalit Modi on Wednesday revealed that the event would be held from September 10 to 26 on his twitter page. Last season, the tournament was held in October, featuring teams from India, Australia, South Africa, England and the Caribbean.

This year, the dates coincide with the final two rounds of the English County Championship, the semi-finals and final of the Pro40 League and the ODI Series between England and Pakistan.

The ECB has decided to take up the matter with Modi. “The ECB has expressed concern to the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa over scheduling of the 2010 Champions League Twenty20,” the ECB said in a statement.

“Due to the scheduling of the India vs Australia One-day series, the ECB understands that the Champions League governing council has today determined that the 2010 dates for the Champions League should be September 10-26,” the statement read.

“The governing council is aware that this proposed scheduling coincides with the final two rounds of the County Championship, the semi-finals and final of the ECB 40 League and the NatWest Series between England and Pakistan,” it added.

The ECB said it would be a “shame” if English teams are unable to participate because of a clash of dates.

“The ECB has expressed serious concern to the BCCI, CA and CSA concerning this decision and the matter will be discussed with the respective chairmen and presidents who are currently meeting in Dubai.

“The ECB believes that it would be a great shame for the Champions League to be deprived of teams and players by this change of date, in bringing forward the respective events by a week, and has called on the BCCI to review all alternatives,” it said.

Counties, on their part, left it on the ECB to handle the issue but conceded that they have been left surprised by the change of dates.

“We all expected the competition to start in the third or fourth week of September. We have to leave it to the ECB to have the appropriate talks,” Sussex chief executive Dave Brooks was quoted as saying by ‘The Times’.

Somerset, who also played in the inaugural CL T20, echoed the view. “My response is slight bemusement as the English season was brought forward to avoid a clash of dates. I hope that Mr Modi will see that it would be a retrograde step for the competition if English teams were not involved,” said CEO Richard Gould.

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