cricket20 :: No mixed loyalties for Michael Hussey
t20 World Cup News
No mixed loyalties for Michael Hussey


Australian commitments will save Michael Hussey from playing against his home state in cricket's inaugural Twenty20 Champions League - although it may also mean Western Australian miss out on a healthy pay day themselves.

The Warriors were poised to receive a "six figure" sum in compensation for Hussey playing for Indian Premier League runners-up Chennai in the eight-team league - confirmed to be played in India between September 29 and October 8.

But with Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland confirming players selected for Australia's Test tour of India - which begins with a three-day tour match on October 2 - would be unavailable for the Champions League, such compensation would now seem unlikely.

"The India-Australia Test series is paramount for us," Sutherland said.

"We have to prepare well. Western Australia and Victoria have qualified for the Champions League and players picked for the four-Test series will be excused from playing for their respective teams in the Champions League.

"The ICC events and FTP (Future Tours Program) are a priority."

WA chief executive Graeme Wood said Hussey would have had to represent Chennai under the tournament's regulations, but claimed WA would have been entitled to some form of compensation for losing their star batsman to the Super Kings.

"I think it's quite significant, probably six figures, but that hasn't been agreed to as yet," Wood said.

While such money would have been a welcome bonus for WA, an even bigger pay day could yet await both the Warriors and Australian Twenty20 champions Victoria with the CL to carry a $US6 million ($A6.36 million) purse.

The breakdown of the prize money was still to be decided, as well as which Indian cities would host the event (Delhi, Mohali and Jaipur were the likely venues).

Also not decided was the final make-up of the tournament, with England's participation in doubt due to the ECB's dispute with the Indian board (BCCI) over the use of ICL players.

England was among the original participants in the competition - along with Australia, India and South Africa - but the ECB is now devising its own plans to stage a tournament in the United Arab Emirates, to be bankrolled by the Abu Dhabi royal family.

CA had the option of sending its representative sides to play in the ECB event, but chose instead to stay with the original plan of India as host after a meeting between Sutherland, IPL boss Lalit Modi and Cricket South Africa's Gerald Majola in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Victoria, WA, Shane Warne's IPL champions the Rajasthan Royals, Chennai, and South African teams the Dolphins and Titans, have all been locked in for the tournament.

Middlesex, who won England's Twenty20 league, have also been invited to take part, but domestic sides from New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies are set to be called upon if the England board declines.

The ECB went its own way because of India's refusal to allow players aligned in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) - the IPL's rival - to take part in the Champions League.

Kent, one of England's best two sides, has two ICL-aligned players in their squad, in Pakistan's Azhar Mahmood and Justin Kemp of South Africa.

The Champions League, which will start a day after the final of the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in Pakistan, was based on the model used in European soccer and officials are hopeful of expanding the competition to feature 12 sides playing 23 matches next year.

The tournament could also come to Australia in future years with Modi telling reporters: "We would like to rotate the Champions League in order to promote and develop cricket in all parts of the world."

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