CLT20 starts with qualifiers, Faisalabad Wolves in spotlight
A league which was born out of the hugely successful IPL, CLT20 is gradually establishing its identity but it would take some time for it to truly find a connect with the fans.cricket Updated: Sep 16, 2013 16:21 IST
Still trying to find its foothold in the cricketing landscape, the Champions League Twenty20 will enter its fourth season in Mohali on Tuesday with the qualifying matches during which Pakistan's domestic champions Faisalabad Wolves are likely to hog the limelight.
A league which was born out of the hugely successful IPL, CLT20 is gradually establishing its identity but it would take some time for it to truly find a connect with the fans.
The event will kick off with Faisalabad Wolves, led by Pakistan's Terst skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, taking on New Zealand's Otago Volts in the first qualifier on Tuesday.
This would be followed by a star-studded Sunrisers Hyderabad, led by Delhi-dasher Shikhar Dhawan, squaring off against Sri Lanka's Kandurata Maroons in the second qualifier at the PCA stadium.
Barring Volts, the other three teams in the Qualifiers come from the sub-continent, but none among the four feels that either has any big advantage in the event.
The top two teams will advance to the main draw, which has three Indian teams in fray -- IPL champions Mumbai Indians, runners-up Chennai Super Kings and third-place finishers Rajasthan Royals.
In Tuesday's opening match, the Wolves would mainly rely on their young players including promising medium-pacer Ehsan Adil, Ali Waqas, Khuram Shahzad, Asad Ali, besides banking on the experience of skipper Misbah and Saeed Ajmal, who has been a national asset in all three formats after his Test debut four years back.
The Wolves, who had some visa issues when they landed here, will draw strength from the fact that at the domestic level, they beat teams that had many stars. The Wolves are only the second team from Pakistan to compete in the event after Sialkot Stallions last year.