Champions League: England board plays spoilsport

Published: Monday, July 28, 2008, 23:00 [IST]
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London: English cricket officials are to continue work on their plans for the inaugural Champions League later this year and have no plans to attend Wednesday's meeting to discuss Indian plans for the event.

As things stand, the tournament which features the leading domestic Twenty20 teams from India, England, Australia and South Africa, is due to take place in India from September 29 to October 8.

However, Indian officials and their English counterparts have yet to reach agreement over a series of issues regarding the tournament.

But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are reportedly planning to stage the event in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi, following talks with the Gulf state's royal family who could fund the tournament.

"At the moment we are progressing with our plans and we have no plans to travel to Mumbai and attend Wednesday's meeting," an ECB spokesman said Monday.

Talks between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the ECB have failed to resolve the issues of tournament rights and the availability of players who have played in the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League (ICL).

Under the Indian proposal, the BCCI would retain 50 per cent of the rights to the tournament and will not sanction any players from the ICL or teams who have used them to qualify.

The ECB are suggesting a more equal share of the tournament among the different boards and an amnesty over ICL players from last year.

Twenty20 Cup winners Middlesex and Kent, their beaten opponents in last weekend's final, are set to represent England in the Champions League, where the winners could take home a cheque for five million dollars.

But two of Kent's key players, Pakistan's Azhar Mahmood and South Africa's Justin Kemp, have both played in the ICL.


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