Short-form Champions

Short-form Champions

Ony three teams from last year have qualified for the $2.5-million Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), starting on Friday in South Africa. There will be 10 clubs this year instead of the 12 in the inaugural season in India; they are the top three teams from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the winners and some runners-up from domestic tournaments in other countries.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

Country: India

Captain: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Domestic tournament: IPL(winner)

Average age: 29.4 (five 30+ players)

The team has an experienced line-up, with six foreignplayers. Chennai entered the CLT20 after defeating Mumbai Indians in the IPL final.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Suresh Raina, Mathew Hayden, Muttiah Muralitharan, Douglas Bollinger

WARRIORS

Country: South Africa

Captain: David Jacobs

Domestic tournament: Standard Bank Pro20 (winner)

Average age: 29.4 (six 30+ players)

The team has considerable experience but is led by wicket keeper David Jacobs who, at 26, is also the youngest captain in the tournament. This side has the home advantage and is in good form, having lost only one match in the domestic series.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Colin Ingram, David Jacobs, Makhaya Ntini, Juan Theron

WAYAMBA ELEVENS

Country: Sri Lanka

Captain: Jehan Mubarak

Domestic tournament: Sri Lanka’s Inter-Provincial Twenty20 (winner)

Average age: 27 (four 30+ players)

It’s their second appearance in the competition. They also won their domestic championship for the second consecutive year. They were knocked out in the first round in the inaugural season of CLT20.

Also See Fixtures: Champions League T20 From 10-26 September (Graphic)

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Mahela Jayawardene, Jeewantha Kulatunga, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana

CENTRAL STAGS

Country: New Zealand

Captain: Jamie How

Domestic tournament: HRV Cup (winner)

Average age: 26 (five 30+players)

After having won their last domestic title in 2005-06, Central Stags made it to CLT20 by beating Auckland Aces in the finals of the HRV Cup. The team could well prove to be the dark horse in the tournament.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Peter Ingram, Mathew Sinclair, Michael Mason, Seth Rance

MUMBAI INDIANS

Country: India

Captain: Sachin Tendulkar

Domestic tournament: IPL (runner-up)

Average age: 26.6 (three 30+ players)

With a good mix of experience and five foreign players, Mumbai Indians will start as one of the favourites.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Sachin Tendulkar, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan

HIGHVELD LIONS

Country: South Africa

Captain: Alviro Peterson

Domestic tournament: Standard Bank Pro20 (runner-up)

Average age: 27.2 (four 30+ players)

The Lions will be playing the inaugural match at the Wanderers, their home ground, against Mumbai Indians. The home advantage factor should work in their favour.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Jonathan Vandiar, Robert Frylinck, Ethan O’Reilly

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REDBACKS

Country: Australia

Captain: Michael Klinger

Domestic tournament: KFC Twenty20 Big Bash (runner-up)

Average age: 26.6 (three 30+ players)

The most consistent team in the KFC Big Bash, the South Australian Redbacks lost to the Victorian Bushrangers in the domestic tournament. They are bound to miss Keiron Pollard, who is playing for Mumbai Indians.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Daniel Harris, Graham Manou, Shaun Tait, Aaron O’Brien

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Country: India

Captain: Anil Kumble

Domestic tournament: IPL (third)

Average age: 28.3 (four 30+ players)

The team, which has five foreign players, is led by the oldest player in the competition and coached by South African Ray Jennings, whose expertise with the country’s playing conditions will definitely be an advantage. RCB has a good mix of youth and experience.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Jacques Kallis, Cameron White, Dale Steyn,

Praveen Kumar

GUYANA

Country: Co-operative Republic of Guyana

Captain: Ramnaresh Sarwan

Domestic tournament: Caribbean T20 (winner)

Average age: 26 (three 30+ players)

A team with few big names, Guyana’s strength lies in their youngsters; this works well in the short form of the sport. They defeated last year’s runner-up Trinidad and Tobago in the semi-finals and Barbados in the final of this year’s domestic competition.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Travis Dowlin, Jonathan Foo, Lennox Cush, Devindra Bishoo

Compiled by Manoj Madhavan

Source: CLT20

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