Pakistan may protest CLT20 exclusion


The Pakistan Cricket Board has expressed surprise over the exclusion of Pakistani team yet again from the Champions League Twenty20 and has decided to protest the snub in the forthcoming ICC meeting in Hong Kong. “We are surprised, the organisers have again not invited us although this time they have even scheduled a qualifying tournament for six teams before the main competition,” a PCB official said. Champions League is scheduled to be held from September 23 to October 9, is a joint venture of cricket Boards of India, Australia and South Africa. “So far we have not had any discussions with the Indians on this issue as yet but when we meet them on the sidelines of the ICC meeting this month we will discuss the Champions League matter,” the official said. The Champions League unveiled its schedule and a new format for this year’s tournament on Monday, a ten-team tournament to be held in India in September and October, preceded by a six-team qualifying stage.
This season sees the return of the teams from England for the qualifying stages, but as expected no team from Pakistan has been invited. That leaves them as the only major Test nation without representation in the tournament; Bangladesh are the only other full member without a team in the mix. The ICC has also proposed an annual window in the next FTP – from 2012 to 2020 – to accommodate the Champions League. According to an official, the board has already raised the issue “indirectly” with other boards, as well as the ICC, reported Cricinfo.
They have not yet, however, been in contact with the three boards that run the event, those of India, Australia and South Africa. “The response from the Indian side is very cold and we have not discussed this with CA or CSA because the BCCI calls the shots and it is no use to discussing it with others,” the official said.
A team from Pakistan – the then champions Sialkot Stallions – was invited to the inaugural edition of the tournament at the end of 2008, but that was postponed after the Mumbai terror attacks in November that year. The fall-out of those attacks was a deteriorating political relationship between India and Pakistan.
The invitation was withdrawn for the 2009 event. Despite a recent dip in this form, Pakistan is counted among the top Twenty20 sides in the world, having won the world title in 2009, finished runners-up in 2007 and only been denied a final spot in 2010 after a freakish innings from Michael Hussey.