Champions League Twenty20 commissioner Lalit Modi has asked for ‘minor adjustments’ to the county cricket schedule to allow English participation in the highly lucrative tournament, with $2.5million for the winners.
The dates of this year’s CLT20, from 10-26 September, clash with the final fortnight of the English domestic season and effectively rule out English counties participating.
Modi (pictured right) said the dates were dictated by ICC countries pre-commitments under the Future Tours Programme (FTP) which maps out international series over a six year period.
The only bilateral series to take place during the CLT20 dates is the One Day International series between England and Pakistan, ending 22nd September.
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) main contention with the proposed dates however is they cover the final two rounds of the County Championship, and the semi-final and final of the new 40-over league.
Modi however told Cricinfo: “We hope the ECB will be able to prepone their domestic tournament and be able to participate by making this minor adjustment to their schedule.”
Modi also denied the ECB had not been consulted over the timing of the CLT20. “[That is] not true,” Modi said.
“[Champions League governing council member Dean Kino] is and has been in touch with [David] Collier [ECB chief executive] on a regular basis since December .”
The CLT20 is run by the Indian, Australia and South African boards while other countries participate in the tournament by invitation. It was on that basis domestic T20 winners Sussex and runners-up Somerset represented England in 2009.
Modi however stressed the dates were the most convenient. He said: “Given that Australia’s tour to India begins on 2nd October and other countries also have pre-committed FTP games it was the only window available this year.”
“We will always to accommodate all countries as far as possible, and the governing council looked at all possibilities and decided that these were the only dates.”
Somerset chief executive Richard Gould was still perplexed by the timing of the CLT20. “We were of the assumption that the Champions League dates were going to start at the back end of September, which is why the ECB had already made provision for the season to finish slightly earlier,” Gould said.
“It’s a surprising commercial move because for this competition to have truly global reach it’s going to have to include all the major countries.”
Thanks to TaKE Me To for the picture