Caribbean T20 top side set for spot in Group B of Champions League

The top regional team in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 Tournament will compete in Group B of the second annual Airtel Champions League T20 Tournament, the organizers announced this week.

The other Group B teams in the Champions League are Mumbai Indians, Highveld Lions, South Australia Redbacks and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Group A will be made up of Chennai Super Kings, Victoria Bushrangers, Wayamba XI of Sri Lanka, Central Stags of New Zealand and the Warriors of South Africa.

The stage is now set for the Caribbean T20, which will be played in Barbados and Trinidad from July 22 to 31 and the prize is that all-important placed in the Champions League Tournament to be played in South Africa from September 10 to 26. The seven regional sides – Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and Windward Islands will be joined by Canada. If the Canadians win the second placed team will advance to the Champions League.

The top Caribbean T20 side will open their campaign on Sunday September 12 against Bangalore at SuperSports Park in Centurion. The second group stage match will be against Mumbai on Thursday, September 16 at Kingsmead in Durban, followed by a clash with the home side Highveld Lions on Sunday, September 19, at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and a date with the Redbacks at the same venue on Tuesday, September 21. The semi-finals will be in Durban on Friday September 24 and Centurion on Saturday September 25, followed by the final at the Wanderers on Sunday September 26

The format for the Caribbean T20 Tournament will be two groups of four teams. There will be a round-robin stage in each group – each team will play three matches – with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will advance to final while the losing semi-finalists will play a third-place play-off. The matches in Barbados will be played on July 22 to 25 and the matches in Trinidad will be played on July 28 to 31, with August 1 as the reserve day for the finals.

As part of a new initiative ESPN and the West Indies Cricket Board have reached an agreement for the broadcast of the inaugural Caribbean T20 Tournament, as ESPN continues to build multi-platform cricket offering for Windies fans. The Caribbean T20 will air to more than 61 million households worldwide. In the Caribbean, fans will be able to view all the matches LIVE on the two ESPN Caribbean networks ESPN and ESPN2, while highlights will be available the following day on Caribbean Media Corporation stations.

The ground-breaking agreement also includes unprecedented live multimedia coverage on ESPN digital platforms including ESPN3.com, ESPN, Inc.’s U.S. broadband platform, and ESPN360 broadband platforms in Australia and Latin America.  The agreement also includes television coverage on ESPN networks in the UK, the Middle East and Africa, and in Australia and New Zealand.