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All eyes on Stallions

Johannesburg: The fourth edition of the Champions League T20 begins on Tuesday with two qualifying matches. On the opening day, Auckland Aces take on Sialkot Stallions, while Uva Next lock horns with Yorkshire.

One of the most exciting thing about this year’s CLT20 is the participation of the Pakistan domestic T20 champions Sialkot Stallions. As the first ever team from their country to participate in the high profile T20 competition, the Stallions have generated a lot of buzz even before taking field for their first game.

They lack the star power of some of the other teams, but they have several experienced T20 campaigners including captain Shoaib Malik, opener Imran Nazir and fast bowler Naved-ul Hasan. One of the revelations of the World T20, Raza Hasan, is also part of the squad.

In the other match of the day, Sri Lankan champions Uva Next start favourites given the quality of players they have in their ranks. Dilshan Munaweera is a pillar in the side.

Also 38-year-old Shivnarine Chanderpaul and the hard-hitting New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram are strengths in the team. On the bowling front, presence of Pakistan quick Umar Gul gives them the advantage. (agencies)