The 2012 Champions League Twenty20 is being held in South Africa from the 9th to the 28th of October. It comes hot on the heels of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, which will no doubt be a boon for T20 lovers and a burden to cricket purists. Whatever your perspective, T20 cricket is where the money is right now: this edition of the CLT20 features a a US$6 million prize pool, a staggering amount in cricket.
14 teams from eight countries are taking place in the 2012 Champions League Twenty20. They are comprised of the top four teams from India's premier Twenty20 competition, the Indian Premier League; the winners and runners-up in Australia's KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League, South Africa's MiWay T20 Challenge and England's Friends Life T20; and the winners of New Zealand's HRV Cup, Pakistan's Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup and the Sri Lankan Premier League.
The tournament features two sets of groupings: a qualifying pool stage and a group stage. Here's a breakdown of which teams are involved in each:
- Qualifying Pool Stage
- Hampshire Royals (England)
- Yorkshire Carnegie (England)
- Auckland Aces (New Zealand)
- Sialkot Stallions (Pakistan)
- Uva Next (Sri Lanka)
- Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies)
- Group Stage
- Kolkata Knight Riders (India)
- Chennai Super Kings (India)
- Delhi Daredevils (India)
- Mumbai Indians (India)
- Sydney Sixers (Australia)
- Perth Scorchers (Australia)
- Titans (South Africa)
- Highveld Lions (South Africa)
- Auckland Aces (NZ) (advanced from qualifying stage)
- Yorkshire Carnegie (England) (advanced from qualifying stage)
Teams are split into two pools of three. Each team plays the other two teams in their group once, with the winner of each pool to progress to the main group stage. The qualifying pools are as follows (winners in italics):
- Pool 1: Auckland Aces, Hampshire Royals, Sialkot Stallions
- Pool 2: Trinidad & Tobago, Uva Next, Yorkshire Carnegie
The ten group stage teams (eight direct qualifiers plus the two winners of the qualifying pools) are split into two groups of five, in which each team plays the other teams in their group once. There are a total of 20 group stage matches. The groups are as follows:
- Group A: Auckland Aces, Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders, Perth Scorchers, Titans
- Group B: Chennai Super Kings, Lions, Mumbai Indians, Sydney Sixers, Yorkshire Carnegie
The top two teams in each group qualify for the semi-finals, while the bottom three teams exit the tournament.
Semi-Finals and Final
The winner of Group A plays the second-placed team from Group B in the semi-finals of the 2012 Champions League T20, while the winner of Group B plays second place in Group A.
The two semi-final winners go on to contest the final to decide the CLT20 champion. The final will be played on 28 October 2012.
Points in the qualifying and group stages are a little more generous than in other major tournaments. The scoring system is as follows:
- 4 points for a win
- 2 point for a tie or no result (e.g. if a match is abandoned due to rain)
- 0 points for a loss
If two teams in a group finish on the same number of points, the following criteria are used to decide which team is ranked higher:
- Higher number of wins
- Higher net run rate
- Drawing of lots
At all stages of the tournament except the final, a tied match is decided by a one over per side eliminator or 'Super Over'. In other words, if the teams finish their innings on the same number of runs, each team bats for one more over and whoever scores the most runs wins the match.
In the final, however, a tie will result in both finalists sharing the winners' and runners-up's prize money.