| Sunil Narine |
Calcutta/New Delhi: Resisting the Indian Premier League (IPL), indeed, is very difficult.
That was proved when West Indies star Sunil Narine, who played an important role in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ triumphant run in IPL-V, chose the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise over his home team Trinidad & Tobago for the Champions League T20, scheduled to be held next month.
That Narine would play for Gautam Gambhir’s side was reported by The Telegraph on Friday.
Not only Narine, eight other international players, including Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, have opted to play for their IPL franchises instead of their home teams.
Apart from Narine, the other players who chose IPL franchises over home teams are Bravo, Francois du Plessis, Sunil Narine, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel and Pollard.
Champion domestic teams from eight countries will chase the $2.5 million first prize from a total pool (including participation fees) of $13 million, the organisers said in a statement.
“The fourth edition of the Champions League T20 is only a few weeks away. The squads that will be playing in the tournament speak for themselves. They comprise the finest cricketing talent on this planet,” said N. Srinivasan, chairman, CLT20 Governing Council.
“We are in for some extraordinary cricket, in what will surely be a thriller of a competition.”
All players who were nominated by more than one squad chose to play for their ‘away’ team. So, Pollard will turn up for the Mumbai Indians instead of his home team of Trinidad & Tobago while Brett Lee (Sydney Sixers) will be in action for the Knights.
“Last year’s tournament showed the fine line between making the finals and early elimination. Given the high stakes and small margin for error in the Qualifier and Group Stage, some of world cricket’s biggest names who are eligible for more than one team have been in high demand,” said Dean Kino, CLT20 Governing Council member.
“According to CLT20 rules, if a player qualifies for more than one team, all those qualifying teams can nominate that player.
The Champions League Twenty20 will feature a record 14 teams — India (4), Australia (2), South Africa (2), England (2), New Zealand (1), Sri Lanka (1), West Indies (1) and Pakistan (1) — for the first time.
Eight teams have automatically qualified for the Group Stage while the remaining six teams will compete for the remaining two places via a Qualifier.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene Friday replaced Virender Sehwag as the captain of the Delhi DareDevils for the CLT20 after the Indian sought to be relieved of the job to “bat more freely”.