Trinidad and Tobago, the 2013 Caribbean Twenty20 champions, have earned direct entry into the group stage of this year’s Champions League T20 (CLT20) tournament which will be played in India from September 17 to October 6.
This was announced on the official Champions League T20 website yesterday but T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) first vice-president Dudnath Ramkessoon said the TTCB have not yet received anything official from the tournament organisers.
“What we know is what we have seen in the media but we have not received any official correspondence from the Champions League organisers that this is the case,” he said.
However, the website reported that T&T, who were the runners-up in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2009, have earned direct entry into the group stage this year after playing in the qualifiers in 2011 and 2012.
“With some of the world’s best T20 players, they are a deserving entrant in the main draw after winning the Caribbean T20 championship for a third straight time earlier this year,” the media release on CLT20.com said.
The release also added: “The CLT20 Governing Council has been advised by the England and Wales Cricket Board that its teams are not available to participate in this year’s tournament.”
The tournament will follow a similar format to the two previous editions, with a group stage preceded by qualifiers.
A total of 29 matches will be played in the tournament by the best domestic T20 teams from around the world who will compete for total prize money of US$6 million.
The qualifiers will feature four teams —the fourth-ranked team from the Pepsi IPL 2013, Otago Volts (New Zealand’s HRV Cup champions) and the winners of the Sri Lanka and Pakistan domestic T20 competitions.
The teams will play each other once, with the top two advancing to the group stage.
The group stage will feature ten teams divided into two groups of five.
T&T, who won the Caribbean T20 for the third consecutive year in January, will campaign in Group B alongside the second placed Indian Premier League team, South Africa’s T20 runners up Titans, Australia’s T20 champions Brisbane Heat and the second place team from the qualifiers.
Group A will comprise the winners and third-ranked team in the IPL, Highveld Lions (winners of South Africa’s RAM SLAM T20 Challenge), Perth Scorchers (KFC T20 Big Bash League runner-up), and the top team from the CLT20 qualifiers.
The top team from Group A will play the second-ranked team from Group B, and vice versa, in the semi-finals.
The winners of the semis will play in the final on October 6.
The venues of the CLT20 2013 will be decided at the end of the IPL season, once the top three teams in that tournament are known.
CLT20 group stage
IPL Champions (India)
Highveld Lions (South Africa)
Perth Scorchers (Australia)
IPL Third Place (India)
IPL Runners up (India)
Titans (South Africa)
Brisbane Heat (Australia)
Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies)
IPL Fourth place (India)
Otago Volts (New Zealand)
Sri Lanka T20 Champions