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Vics confident about Champions League


Victoria are confident they can take their peerless Twenty20 cricket form to the world stage when they compete in the inaugural Champions League in India next month.

The Bushrangers have won all three Australian domestic Twenty20 titles and have won 12 of their 13 matches played, including last summer's final against Western Australia in Perth.

They now get the chance to carry that impressive form line into a competition featuring the best domestic teams from Australia, India, England, Pakistan and South Africa, where teams will compete for a cash pool of $US3 million.

Victoria have been drawn in pool A with English champions Middlesex, South African champions the Nashua Titans and the Chennai Super Kings, who finished runner-up in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Bushrangers named a 15-man squad for the tournament featuring IPL players Cameron White, David Hussey and Brad Hodge, and coach Greg Shipperd was confident the side would acquit itself well.

"We've got a really good squad with a lot of depth, so we can choose the best team for the conditions and our opponents," said Shipperd, who also coached the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

"We've only lost one game in this format over that past three years, so we're confident in our own abilities, but it will be a whole new game over there with many talented players and teams competing.

"We're looking forward to the challenge."

Victoria's draw, which starts on December 3, puts fast bowler Dirk Nannes against his English county side in the opening game of the tournament, and has David Hussey set to play his brother Michael, who will play for the Super Kings instead of WA.

If Victoria progress beyond the pool stage, they could come up against former Bushranger Shane Warne, who will lead his IPL side the Rajasthan Royals in pool B.

WA, the Nashua Dolphins (South Africa) and the Sialkot Stallions of Pakistan are the other teams in pool B.

The Vics play their first two pool matches in Mumbai and their third in Chennai.

The semi-finals will be played in Bangalore and Chennai, and the final will be played in Chennai on December 10.

Victorian squad: Cameron White (capt), Aiden Blizzard, Adam Crosthwaite, Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, John Hastings, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Andrew McDonald, Clinton McKay, Dirk Nannes, Darren Pattinson, Robert Quiney, Peter Siddle, Matthew Wade.

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