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Learn more about the teams competing in the 2012 Champions League Twenty20
The Auckland Aces have emerged as a strong force in New Zealand’s domestic T20 circuit by winning the HRV Cup twice in a row. Their first shot at the CLT20, in 2011 ended prematurely as they failed to get past the Qualifiers. However, this time, they have crossed that hurdle. By winning both their Qualifiers, the Aces have booked themselves a place in the league phase of CLT20, 2012.
Owned by India Cements, the Chennai Super Kings have been one of the consistent performers in T20 cricket. Finishing as runners-up in the inaugural edition of the IPL, they bagged the title in 2010 and 2011, before finishing in second place again in 2012. Led by India captain MS Dhoni, CSK is the only IPL team to have retained their core group of players since the first season.
Captain: Mahela Jayawardene
Coach: Eric Simons
CLT20 Best: 2012 Semi-finalist
The team, owned by GMR Sports Pvt. Ltd. made it to the semi-final of the inaugural IPL before finishing as table toppers in 2009 and 2012. After winning the wooden spoon in 2011, the team underwent a revamp by roping in batting bulwarks like Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor in the 2012 Players Auction to join Virender Sehwag at the top. After the 2010 season, this is the Daredevils’ second shot at the CLt20 title.
Champions of Friends Life t20 2012, Hampshire had their first chance to participate in the CLT20 by competing in the pre-tournament Qualifiers. However, the team led by England’s Dimitri Mascarenhas, failed to make the cut after losing to the Auckland Aces in their first game. Hampshire had high hopes from their star overseas player, Shahid Afridi but he couldn’t manage anything more than a duck with the bat and one wicket with the ball.
Captain: Alviro Petersen
Coach: Geoffrey Toyana
CLT20 Best: 2012 Runner-up
Highveld Lions come to CLT20 2012 for the second time, having participated in the tournament in 2010, in South Africa. The Lions qualified for the main group stage of CLT20 2012, as runners-up in the MiWay T20 Challenge 2011-12, where they lost to Titans. At CLT20 2010, they created quite a flutter when they beat the much fancied Mumbai Indians in the first game of the tournament, but then lost steam.
Captain: Gautam Gambhir
Coach: Trevor Bayliss
CLT20 Best: 2011, 2012 Group Stage
Languishing at the bottom of the table for the first three years, the KKR underwent a complete overhaul in 2011. Stalwarts like Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee and Brendon Mccullum were hired and Gautam Gambhir was given the reins of the team. As a result, KKR finished the season with a top four finish and went a notch ahead in 2012 by claiming the IPL title. This season will mark the second CLT20 appearance in a row for the team jointly owned by Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta.
Mumbai Indians an IPL franchise owned by IndiaWin Sports Pvt. Ltd, a group company of Reliance Industries Ltd. A team with one of the strongest fan base – mostly due to the presence of Sachin Tendulkar – MI finished as runners-up in IPL 2010, before bagging the CLT20 title the next year. After Tendulkar stepped down as captain, it was Harbhajan Singh who led the team to the CLT20 glory and now he has the onus on him to repeat the performance.
The team from Perth, Australia, will make their Champions League Twenty20 debut in 2012. Runners-up of the KFC Big Bash League 2011-12, the Scorchers have a healthy mix of youth and experience to make their presence felt in CLT20 2012. Captain Marcus North has Paul Collingwood, Simon Katich Herschelle Gibbs and Brad Hogg. Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, lead a bunch of young cricketers who have represented Australia in one or the other format.
The Sialkot Stallions became the first team from Pakistan to be invited to the CLT20. However, the champions of Faysal Bank T20 Cup 2012 – Pakistan’s domestic T20 competition – failed to get past the Qualifiers despite having enough international pedigree in form of captain Shoaib Malik, Imran Nazir and Naved-ul-Hasan. The Stallions lost their first game, against Auckland Aces to blow away their big chance of making it to the tournament proper.
Winners of the revamped KFC T20 Big Bash League played in Australia, the Sydney Sixers will make their CLT20 debut in South Africa. The Sydney franchise beat seven other teams in the 2011-12 Big Bash League, including the Perth Scorchers in the final, to seal a CLT20 2012 berth. Besides the Shane Watson factor, what makes the Sixers one of the favourites going into the tournament is their fiery pace attack comprising two most promising Aussie fast bowlers – Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
Captain: Martin van Jaarsveld
Coach: Mathew Maynard
CLT20 Best: 2012 Semi-finalist
A triumph in the domestic MiWAY T20 Challenge 2011-12 earned the Nashua Titans a place in the 2012 CLT20. Captained by Martin van Jaarsveld, the Titans were propelled to the title by inspirational performances from the team the most noteworthy were Farhaan Behardien (333 runs) and Roelof van der Merwe (15 wickets). The 2012 season will see the Titans compete in CLT20 for the first time. With the home advantage on their side, the South African side will also benefit from the experience of Alfonso Thomas, who has played CLT20 twice before.
Captain: Denesh Ramdin
Coach: David Williams
CLT20 Best: 2009 Runner-up
T&T won fans all over the world by making to the final of the inaugural CLT20, in 2009, playing an entertaining brand of cricket. T&T went undefeated in the tournament before losing to the New South Wales Blues in the final. T&T have been the most successful team on the Caribbean T20 circuit, having won the competition in 2008 (then known as Stanford 20/20), 2010-11 and 2011-12. This will be their third attempt for the CLT20 title, after 2009 and 2011.
The winners of the inaugural edition of the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), Uva Next became the third team from the country to be invited for the CLT20. The owners of Uva Next are Success Sports Private Limited and the team is led by Thilina Kandamby. However, Andrew McDonald, Jacob Oram, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Umar Gul, who played a big role in getting the team to the CLT20 Qualifiers, failed to seal them a berth in the main tournament.
Yorkshire put in their best performance in their history of the Friends Life t20 when they qualified for the final of the 2012 competition. Despite losing to Hampshire in the final, Yorkshire earned the opportunity to participate in the qualifying stage of CLT20 2012 and cruised into the main tournament in style, by winning both their Qualifiers. Boasting of some talented young players, captained by Andrew Gale and coached by Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire are hoping to become the first English team to win the coveted CLT20 title.