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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 16:29 UK

English teams eye Twenty20 glory

Marcus Trescothick and Michael Yardy
Somerset's Trescothick and Sussex's Yardy hoping to shine in India

England's Sussex Sharks and Somerset Sabres are gearing up for the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 which starts on Thursday in India.

The pair qualified as winners and runners-up of the Twenty20 Cup.

Twelve teams from India, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka will play 23 games with US$6m (£3.63m) up for grabs.

The first Champions League was due to take place last year, but was postponed following terror attacks in Mumbai.

The opening match pits Royal Challengers Bangalore - with whom England batsman Kevin Pietersen spent time during this year's Indian Premier League - against South Africa provincial side Cape Cobras on Thursday in Bangalore.

The newly formed competition features teams from across the world who succeeded in their domestic Twenty20 competitions, with IPL champions Deccan Chargers in Group A with Somerset Sabres and West Indies side Trinidad & Tobago.

The Sabres, captained by Australia's Justin Langer, include Marcus Trescothick who is touring abroad for the first time in three years after quitting international cricket in 2008 because of depression and anxiety attacks.

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The 33-year-old former England opener, named 2009's most valuable player for 2009 by the Professional Cricketers' Association, is hopeful of impressing overseas and coping with his medical condition.

"I can only try. It's a big competition for the players and for the club. I have got to try to make it happen," said the left-hander who hit 56 from 32 balls in the Twenty20 Cup semi-finals and 33 in the final defeat by Sussex.

The Sussex Sharks are going for a one-day treble this season, having won the Twenty20 Cup and Pro40, and face Australians New South Wales Blue, who include Brett Lee and Simon Katich, and South African Diamond Eagles in their group.

Sharks captain Michael Yardy said: "I've been to India six times and I know what its about. It's a totally different culture but it is something to embrace and I think the lads will take it on."

The 12 teams are divided into four groups of three, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the second phase, where there are two groups of four. The top two teams from those groups will qualify for the semi-finals.

England all-rounder Paul Collingwood had been provisionally selected to play for his IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils in the two-week tournament but has withdrawn because of a torn buttock muscle.

Deccan Chargers
IPL champions Deccan Chargers will go up against the Somerset Sabres

The 33-year-old is Delhi's third international to pull out in the past week, following injuries to South Africa's AB de Villiers (back) and New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori (hamstring).

The withdrawals could see England one-day batsman Owais Shah play a prominent role for the Daredevils, who are still awaiting approval for former Australia star Glenn McGrath as Vettori's replacement.

Although not as lucrative as the IPL itself, players on the winning side of the Champions League Twenty20 are expected to pocket US$80,000 (£50,000).

The inaugural champions will receive US$2.5m (£1.57m), which is split between the club or franchise and their playing staff.

English county side Middlesex had qualified for last year's tournament after winning the Twenty20 Cup last July, before the postponement in November resulting from the terror attack in Mumbai.


Group A: Deccan Chargers (India), Somerset Sabres (England), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies)

Group B: New South Wales (Australia), Eagles (South Africa), Sussex Sharks (England)

Group C: Royal Challengers Bangalore (India), Cape Cobras (South Africa), Otago (New Zealand)

Group D: Delhi Daredevils (India), Victoria (Australia), Wayamba (Sri Lanka)


GROUP STAGE

8 Bangalore v Cobras, Bangalore

9 New South Wales v Eagles, Delhi
Delhi v Victoria, Delhi

10 Cobras v Otago, Hyderabad
Deccan v Sabres, Hyderabad

11 New South Wales v Sharks, Delhi
Delhi v Wayamba, Delhi

12 Sabres v Trinidad & Tobago, Bangalore
Bangalore v Otago, Bangalore

13 Victoria v Wayamba, Delhi
Eagles v Sharks, Delhi

14 Deccan v Trinidad & Tobago, Hyderabad

SECOND PHASE

15 C1 v D2, Bangalore

16 A2 v B2, Hyderabad
A1 v B1, Hyderabad

17 C2 v D2, Bangalore
C1 v D1, Bangalore

18 A2 v B1, Hyderabad
A1 v B2, Hyderabad

19 C2 v D1, Delhi

KNOCK-OUT PHASE

21 First semi-final, Delhi

22 Second semi-final, Hyderabad

23 Final, Hyderabad



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see also
Trescothick to take tour 'gamble'
30 Sep 09 |  Somerset
Smith will miss Champions League
29 Sep 09 |  South Africa
Sussex calm over security fears
02 Oct 09 |  Sussex
Champions League groups unveiled
30 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Deccan beat Bangalore to win IPL
24 May 09 |  Cricket
Champions League cricket on hold
27 Nov 08 |  Cricket
PCB chief fears divide in cricket
29 Nov 08 |  Pakistan
Mumbai rocked by deadly attacks
27 Nov 08 |  South Asia
Date change for Champions League
14 Aug 08 |  Cricket
Champions League format announced
30 Jul 08 |  Cricket
Cricket Champions League unveiled
07 Jun 08 |  Cricket


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