Sep 25, 2009

Champions Somerset Sabres - Surging Ahead

Somerset Qualified for champions league by being runners up to Sussex in English Domestic Twenty20 Championship.Somerset County Cricket Club is situated in the heart of Taunton.The club has its headquarters at the County Cricket Ground, Taunton.

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Former Australian cricket team opening batsman Justin Langer is the captain of the Twenty 20 Side.While He has decided to leave somerset next season and Marcus Trescothick ,the dashing england opener will be captaining the side.

Story Of Somerset in the last couple of years has been nothing but a fairytale.Justin Langer has been a fantastic captain who has the club into Division One Cricket in both ODI and Test Cricket.Justin has been a great servant for the game of cricket over the years and now his team has given Somerset momentum for years to come.

Marcus Trescothick at the Top of the Innings is the key players to watch out for, His knock off 56 from 32 balls ensured the semi-final victory against Kent which allowed Somerset to qualify for CLT20.CLT20 would be Trescothick first overseas for cricket since a stress related illness cut short his international career.

The team also has some power players in the form of Peter Trego and Craig Kieswetter with a T20 strike-rate of 136 and 139.15 respectively.The team has plenty of all rounders in West Indian International Player Omari Banks, Arul Suppiah, Ben Philips ,Peter Trego,Zander de Bruyn,and Alfonso Thomas.

Max Waller,Arul Suppiah and Banks have to share the load in spinner friendly Sub Continent pitches.The ball is not going to swing as much as it did in England so adapting to Indian Conditions is the key. They are a very good side which has players who play together for the entire season without leaving for International duties will be their advantage taking on other teams.

Somerset Sabres Squad

Justin Langer (C)
Alfonso Thomas,
Arul Suppiah,
Ben Phillips,
Charl Willoughby,
Craig Kieswetter,
James Hildreth,
Jos Buttler,
Max Waller,
Mark Turner,
ME Trescothick,
Omari Banks,
Peter Trego,
Wes Durston,
Zander de Bruyn.

Sep 23, 2009

Champions New South Wales - The Speed Blitz Blues

The New South Wales Blues are an Australian first class cricket team based in Sydney, New South Wales. The team qualified for in the Australian first class cricket competition known as the the Twenty20 competition known as the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash.

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New South Wales is a very formidable team with almost 8 players having Australian central contracts.Its packed with Twenty20 specialists Captained by Simon Katich. Katich who plays for Kings XI punjab in the IPL,He is quite a T20 pro in the Australian domestic league where he averages around 40 with the strike rate of 126.

Philip Hughes opening the innings with David Warner would be a treat for the neutrals.Philip Hughes is working hard on his batting,taking tips from the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar himself, and sure looks ready.David Warner has decided to play for his domestic club over Delhi Daredevils in CLT20. Simon Katich (Kings XI) ,Thornely (Mumbai Indians),Ben Rohrer,Moises Henriques bolster the middle order.Ben Rohrer can play the match winning innings in the middle order which provides the fire power in the final 5 overs.

NSW's Bowling may be the best bowling attack in the torunament with Nathan Bracken(Bangalore), Brett Lee ( Kings XI ), Stuart Clark, and Nathan Hauritz.Opposition teams are sure going to struggle facing the toe crushers from Lee and the Slow Cutters from Bracken.Good Bowling sides usually win big tournaments and this is a bowling heavy team which can bat equally well.

Aaron Bird,
David Warner,
Dominic Thornely,
Steven Smith,
Daniel Smith,
Ben Rohrer,
Steve O'Keefe,
Brett Lee,
Simon Katich (C),
Doug Bollinger,
Nathan Bracken,
Stuart Clark,
Nathan Hauritz,
Moises Henriques,
Phillip Hughes

Simon Katich In Men Of Cricket Calendar Photo Shoot.Helping to raise funds for Glenn Mcgrath Foundation For Breast Cancer Awareness

Sep 22, 2009

Champions Trinidad & Tobago - Caribbean Calypso

T&T represent the West Indies cricket board (WICB) as their Twenty 20 champions after the Stanford Twenty20 Tournament.Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the main islands; Tobago is much smaller, comprising about 6% of the total area and 4% of the entire population which is estimated at 1.3 million

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Its the birthplace of calypso, steelpan, soca, limbo and B.C.Lara.So the cricketing and non cricketing folks have had a lots of good times courtesy T&T.Unfortunately the good times seems to be running out for West Indies Cricket.In the last decade they haven't won any major titles apart from Champions Trophy in England 2004.Cricket needs Caribbean and everyone in that part of the world know that better than us, yet they keep repeating the mistakes.

Darren Ganga the captain of Trinidad & Tobago who works as a community relations officer with the state-owned oil company Petrotrin has just managed to get himself cleared to play for champions league after his company initially refused to grant him leave for the Twenty20 tournament.His deputy Dwayne Bravo is key the international player in the side who has to shoulder the responsibility.

T&T has played some consistently brilliant Twenty20.In Stanford Super Series where T&T convincingly whipped English County champions Middlesex (Qualified For CLT20 2008) and narrowly lost by one run to England's senior team.

Apart from Ganga and Dwayne Bravo, the batting is in the capable hands of West Indies players Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo,Darren Bravo will be the player to watch out for in CLT20.His bat lift, footwork and timing reminiscent of the Trinidad & Tobago legend Brain Charles Lara.William Perkins and Adrian Barath can both clear the fence with ease.

West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin will do duties behind the stumps.Their fielding would be better than most of the sides as there are some exceptional fielders in the side.Leading the group of all-rounders will be Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree, Sherwin Ganga, Rayad Emrit and Dave Mohammed.Tobago-born pacer Navin Stewart, Rampaul and Emrit form their fast bowling attack.

If you are betting on a dark horse,then this is it.T&T has the fire power to go all the way.


Daren Ganga (captain),
Dwayne Bravo (vice-captain),
Lendl Simmons,
William Perkins,
Kieron Pollard,
Sherwin Ganga,
Navin Stewart,
Samuel Badree,
Darren Bravo,
Ravi Rampaul,
Denesh Ramdin,
Sunil Narine,
Adrian Barath,
Rayad Emrit,
Dave Mohammed.

Sep 20, 2009

Champions Otago Volts - Electric Kiwi's

The name "Otago" is an old southern Maori word whose North Island dialect equivalent is "Otakou",Otago Volts are the champions of New Zealand's twenty20 tournament.Otago is not a very big city it roughly has a population of 203,500.

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It goes without saying that this is the biggest stage any cricket team from Otago has ever been.Otago cricket and many teams around the world need this spark to ignite the passion back into domestic cricket. The postives of having a chance to participate in CLT20 and then go on to win could mean growth of domestic crikcet around the country.This is ure to inspire Brendon's and Sir Richard's Of Future.
Representing their province and having the responsibility of inspiring a future generation of stars is enough to inspire them.

Brendon Mccullum with his experience at KKR, and their poor run in IPL would have learned a great delas and would be better prepared and would be eager to prove a point. He is a match winner,NSW wouldn't place a $250,000 bid to get this services for their CLT20 squad if he wasn't one.Everyone remembers the opening match of IPL season 1 and everyone wants an encore.

Craig cumming has been the captain of the squad since 2002 and is right hand batsmen who can bowl a bit.He might be the mover in the batting order as he has played as a opener as well as a middle order batsemen.Dimitri (Rajastan Royals) plays 6 or 7 in IPL but may get a Top 4 spot in CLT20 especially if the openers do well.

With 7 players who have played International cricket the team looks very much a CLT20 Team to drive home the point no team in CLT20 is a push over.You got to win the match,no one is going to lose one.

As a born and breed Otago sportsman I cant wait to pull on the blue and gold jumper and represent my province "Otago".Warren McSkimming, the country boy from Oturehua

Otago Squad

Craig Cumming (Captain)
Aaron Redmond
Brendon McCullum
Derek de Boorder
Dimitri Mascarenhas
Greg Todd
Ian Butler
James McMillan
Hamish Rutherford
Nathan McCullum
Neil Broom
Neil Wagner
Nick Beard
Mathew Harvie
Warren McSkimming

Sep 18, 2009

Champions Wayamba - Lions From Srilanka

Wayamba Qualified for Champions League by Winning their Twenty20 competition known as the Inter-Provincial Twenty20. Any team from Srilanka, it really doesn't matter whether it's a local school team or a star studded international team, get equal love and admiration from Srilankan cricket fans. The spirit with which they play domestic cricket is the same as any international game.Wayamba is carrying this spirit,love of their fans and the pride of representing the emerald nation into Champions League.

Though former Srilankan Captain Mahela Jayawardene is in the squad as his IPL team Kings XI Punjab didn't qualify,Jehan Mubarak would most likely captain the side. It doesn't make sense to replace a winning captain and just like in the International's Mahela might want to concentrate on his batting.Farvez maharoof who plays for delhi daredevils decided to play for Wayamba, Joining the country comes first bandwagon.

Their bowling looks good with Rangana Herath who impressed everyone against New Zealand along with Ajantha Mendis ( Kolkata Knight Riders ) form a very impressive spin combo in sub-continent. Perrera, Lokuarachchi, Lanka de silva all have played for Srilanka at the highest level. So even though they might look like a weak team they have good experienced players to tackle pressure.Players to look out for obviously MJ of SL,Ajantha Mendis,Herath and also the captian.

Wayamba Squad

Mahela Jayawardena,
Lanka de Silva (Wk),
Ajantha Mendis,
Jeevantha Kulatunga,
Jehan Mubarak (Captain),
Mahela Udawatte,
Farveez Maharoof,
Kaushalya Lokuarachchi,
Isuru Udana,
Tissara Perera,
Shalika Karunanayake

Sep 9, 2009

Biggest Stage, So What? - Non IPL Teams

There are only three teams in champions league which has played in a T20 tournament of the magnitude of IPL. The rest are very experienced champion sides of their respective domestic competition. Champions teams are not born out of a single performance out of the blue, they are born out of consistent performance worthy of a champion. Consistent performace of an team depends on the entire team and not just an individual.

Wayamba, Otaga or Cape cobras rangers may not have stars who can win over the crowds and match single handedly but they have a team which can win any team with stars. Champions league will be the biggest stage for some of these players from the lesser known teams and the rewards of winning this tournament is not just monetary it opens doors for the club.

Popular teams are full of International stars who have the experience and the talent which had taken them to the pinnacle of the sport.But with ever increasing matches in a International cricket calendar tends to have an impact of these stars. Player burn out is for real, those who argue against it are just considering the physical aspect of it but there is an mental aspect of playing continuous non stop cricket at the highest level.

The pressure that each player is under in the modern game is beyond comprehension for most of us, it takes a toll and the desire to perform well diminishes in time.Only the geniuses who go beyond the everyone else can withstand this pressure and keep their mind clear.Thats why players like sachin and ponting are greats of the game, they are able to perform at the highest level for so long.

Hence the teams with lesser international stars have an advantage straight away, the desire to win and a fresh pair of legs to run.Sometimes its the biggest stage when things get tough that binds teams together, so a team the bigger the stage the better it is for smaller teams.The teams with lesser international players might mean a better understanding of everyone's role in the team as they would have spent the entire season play alongside each other without any international duties.

Every team no matter how big or how small they are have an chance, this is exaclty what makes cricket the game we love. Every player every team matter in champions league twenty 20