Thursday, November 27, 2008

Champions League postponed

ICL and Ranji Trophy also affected

  • The ICL has called off its ongoing world series after a meeting with Gujarat government officials. "The [ICL] executive board decided it was not appropriate to continue," Kiran More, a board member, told Cricinfo. "We were ready with the extra security but felt the atmosphere in the wake of the Mumbai events was just not right to go ahead with the matches." The world series, involving India XI, Pakistan XI, Bangladesh XI and World XI, was scheduled to end on Saturday.
  • The Ranji Trophy match between Mumbai and Hyderabad, which was scheduled to start on November 29 in Mumbai, has also been postponed. The match will now be played between December 2 and 5.

The inaugural Champions League Twenty20, scheduled to begin in Mumbai on December 3, has been postponed following Wednesday's terrorist strikes in the city. The tournament is likely to be held in India early next year, Lalit Modi, the Champions League chairman, told Cricinfo.

Modi said the tournament was postponed due to the logistical problems associated with finding a third venue after Mumbai was ruled out as a host. The governing council will meet in the middle of December to finalise fresh dates for the tournament, which will be held in India, he said.

"We are confident we can hold the tournament early next year," Modi said. "India will remain the venue, as there was never a problem with hosting it here. All the teams agreed that they wanted to come for the tournament. But we had a problem with finding a third venue after Mumbai. There was no way we could have shifted the venue to Bangalore or Chennai, considering the state of the wickets and the grounds would not have accommodated all the matches."

A series of terrorist strikes in Mumbai on Wednesday night left at least 100 dead and 250 injured; the situation had not settled on Thursday, with Army troops joining the security operations.

Cricket Australia had advised its two teams, Victoria and Western Australia, and other players taking part in the tournament against travel to India in the immediate future.

"We held consultations among all the stakeholders including the founding members, the participating teams and members of the Governing Council after the unfortunate terrorist attacks in Mumbai on Wednesday night," Modi said in a statement. "It was agreed that in the best interests of all concerned, the inaugural edition of the Champions League should be postponed."

But it won't be easy for the organisers to find a window for the Champions League early next year. Australia are engaged in home and away series against South Africa, India are due to tour Pakistan and West Indies host England in a four-Test series in February. The one clear break in the international calendar is taken up by the second season of the IPL, due to start in April.