Lahore Lions, Pakistan’s domestic Twenty20 champions all set to participate in Champions League T20 Tournament 2014 that will start tomorrow with qualifier round in Inida. Lions are led by Mohammad Hafeez and have other big names like Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad in their line-up. They begin their qualifying campaign against Mumbai Indians on September 13, before taking on Sri Lanka’s Southern Express and New Zealand’s Northern Districts in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
Lions will be the third team from Pakistan to participate in the Champions League, after Wolves in 2013 and Sialkot Stallions in 2012 in South Africa. Both teams had failed to qualify for the main round. If Lions progress to the main phase of the CLT20, their main team will have to miss out on the National Twenty20 Regional Tournament, which starts in Multan on September 15. In that case, Lahore Lions B team will take part in the regional tournament, but if Lions are knocked out early from the CLT20, players from the main team will return to participate in the domestic competition.
There is uncertainty over Lahore Lions bowler Wahab Riaz‘s participation in the Champions League. Riaz’s newly-born daughter is unwell and the bowler, who was set to leave with the squad, needs more time to decide if he will depart with the squad or not. Lions had been practicing at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore and were forced to train indoors because of excessive rains.