Champions League postponed after Mumbai attacks

New Delhi, Nov 27 (UNI) The inaugural Twenty20 Champions League was today postponed in the wake of security fears following the terror attacks in Mumbai.

The decision was taken by the league's governing council after consultations with the tournament's three founding board members - India, Australia and South Africa.

The Champions League organisers cited security as a major concern for the tournament and with teams reluctant to participate, they decided to postpone the eight-day event fresh dates for which will be decided next month.

''We held consultations among all the stakeholders (and) it was agreed that in the best interests of all concerned, the inaugural edition of the Champions League Twenty20 should be postponed,'' tournament chairman Lalit Modi said.

''We very strongly condemn this dastardly and heinous criminal act of a few which has resulted in the loss of precious lives and injury to hundreds. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and we are with them in their hour of grief,'' Modi said in a statement.

He said the tournament was postponed due to the logistical problems associated with finding a third venue after Mumbai was ruled out as a host following the terror strikes.

The tournament chairman further added that India will remain the venue of the Champions League which could likely take place early next year.

''India will remain the venue, as there was never a problem with hosting it here. All the teams agreed that they wanted to come for the tournament. But we had a problem with finding a third venue after Mumbai.

''There was no way we could have shifted the venue to Bangalore or Chennai, considering the state of the wickets and the grounds would not have accommodated all the matches,'' he stated.

The tournament was to see top Twenty20 domestic teams from India, Australia, England, South Africa and Pakistan were to participate in the tournament.

But it would'nt be easy to find a window for the tournament early next year as top teams across the world have a tight schedule with Australia, India, South Africa, Pakistan, England already committed to the FTP (Future Tour Programme).

England's Twenty20 domestic champions were due to fly out to India but cancelled their flight and South African and Australian boards have also delayed their decision to send their team following the attacks.

While Australia, England and South Africa have expressed their reluctance to tour India following the terror attacks in Mumbai which have killed over 100 people, Pakistan said it was ready to play despite the prevailing conditions.

Many players of the participating teams were due to stay at Taj Mahal Hotel where the terrorists are still holeding.

England has already called off its remaining tour of India with two ODIs and a Test series still to be played.


Story first published: Friday, November 28, 2008, 13:20 [IST]
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