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Pakistan stand to lose out on Champions League

cricket Updated: May 26, 2009 01:55 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Pakistan's tactic of pursuing the legal option against the International Cricket Council and its members, while simultaneously engaging them in dialogue in an attempt to keep the 2011 World Cup in Pakistan may just have had a ripple effect.

When the participants of next October's Champions League Twenty20 tournament were announced, Pakistan was conspicuous by its absence.

The finalists of the domestic T20 competition from South Africa (Cape Cobras and Eagles), Australia (Victoria and New South Wales) and England (yet to be decided) will join the winners from Sri Lanka (Wayamba), New Zealand (Otago), West Indies (Trinidad & Tobago) and three teams from the IPL.

Finalists Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore are automatic entrants, while table-toppers from the league Delhi Daredevils take the third place, which originally would have gone to Pakistan's domestic champions.

“Unfortunately, the Pakistan government won't give them clearance to come to India, and since yesterday was our cut-off date, it's not possible to have a team from Pakistan this year,” said Lalit Modi, chairman of the $6 million prize-money Champions League.

“Delhi Daredevils this year have highest points from the league. But from next year, the third team from India will be decided from a play-off between the two losing semifinalists.”

What this suggests is that Pakistan could well miss out in the coming year as well. Pakistan's Sialkot Stallions, winners of the domestic T20 competition, will miss out on playing in the Champions League. The Pakistan Cricket Board will, no doubt, be miffed at the latest perceived slight from the Indian board.

Already Pakistan's sports minister has alleged that India had a big role in Pakistan losing out on hosting matches at home in the forthcoming World Cup. “I think the Indian board's role in this whole affair of shifting the World Cup matches from Pakistan has been deplorable,” Sports Minister Pir Aftab Shah Jillani said at the function in Pakistan's Hyderabad. He did however admit that they (the PCB) “need to put our own house in order.”