RCB will take on Cape Cobras in Champions League T20 opener

Indian Premier League-II runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore will face South Africa’s Cape Cobras in the opening match of the $six million Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament that commences in Bangalore on October 8.

Hyderabad will host the final on October 23 as well as the second semi-final on October 22 while Delhi will host the first semi-final on October 21, as per the draw and match schedule announced on Thursday by the CLT20 Governing Council.

Three Indian teams – IPL-II champions Deccan Chargers Hyderabad, runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils, the top finishers after the league phase – will take part in the tournament to be held in three centres across the country.

Cricket Australia and South Africa, the other two founder members of the tournament, will have two teams each while an equal number of teams will represent the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The remaining three teams will be from New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

The teams will be divided into four groups of three each in the first phase of the event to spot eight qualifiers for the second league phase.

The three Indian teams have been pooled in different groups in the preliminary phase.

While Deccan Chargers have been drawn in Group A, Royal Challengers and Delhi Daredevils are in Group C and D, respectively.

After the teams play their respective group rivals in round one, to be held from October 8-14, the top two teams will qualify for the second league phase, to be held from October 15-19.

The eight teams to reach the second league phase will be split into two groups of four each.

The top four teams from the second phase will progress to the semi-finals (October 21 and 22) and the winners of the semi-finals will clash in the grand final on October 23.

There will be a total of 23 matches spread over 16 days and matches will be held at 4 pm and 8 pm IST.

CLT20 Chairman Lalit Modi said after the schedule was finalised that it was the ideal tournament to “crown the best-of-the-best in domestic Twenty20 cricket worldwide”.

“It is set to provide domestic cricketers with the ultimate talent showcase, one which I am certain will inspire and motivate future generations of club, state and county cricketers, while accelerating the development of the game globally and the careers of those involved,” Modi said.

Apart from Modi the other members of the CLT20 Governing Council are N Srinivasan, James Sutherland, Niranjan Shah, Dean Kino and Gerald Majola.

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