Auckland Cricket Association chief executive Andrew Eade said a four-team qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka in mid-September was all but confirmed. IPL chief executive Sundar Raman spilt the beans in a recent Twitter posting.
That would involve the New Zealand champions [Auckland], along with the top Sri Lankan and West Indies sides, and the fourth-placed Indian Premier League team [the Kolkata Knight Riders]. The top two sides would qualify for the main 10-team tournament, scheduled to start on September 23 in India.
"The rumours are getting stronger and stronger, we're just awaiting official confirmation that it's actually going to happen," Eade said yesterday.
"Obviously we're disappointed. The opportunity for us to play in the full tournament is a fantastic one, but if we have to qualify then so be it. If we are at full strength we have got a pretty formidable side."
Eade understood the shift was to try and involve a fourth IPL team to broaden the tournament's appeal to the Indian audience. New Zealand's T20 champions contested the first two Champions League tournaments but didn't win a match.
Otago lost both their matches in 2009 and Central Districts were winless from four group matches in South Africa last year.
Still, it was lucrative for NZ Cricket, with the five non-participating major associations each banking around $65,000 last year from their agreed share of the participation fee. Central received double that figure under the agreement.
Eade was confident a participation fee would still be paid for the qualifying tournament but prizemoney, which was guaranteed for every team in the main tournament, might not be.
"There's no way a New Zealand side could afford to go over there if it had to pay its own way, and I'm absolutely certain that [participation fee] will still happen. They won't pull the rug totally out there. Obviously the prizemoney is less likely."
Players' Association boss Heath Mills told the Sunday Star-Times that Central's players were awaiting their share of up to $250,000 from last year's tournament.
Eade expected the ACA would receive about $10,000 in their agreed cut of the prizemoney, which was being held up by Indian
For More Detail Visit @ Livecricketnewz.blogspot.com