The tournament’s organising committee announced today that the Volts, winners of New Zealand’s State Twenty20 competition, would participate in the October event in India.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive Justin Vaughan said it was great news that Otago would have the opportunity to compete with some of the best domestic sides from around the world.
“We’re delighted that the tournament has been opened up to include the New Zealand Twenty20 competition winners,” said Vaughan. “The Otago side will gain tremendous value from this exposure to cricket at the highest level.
“The inclusion our champion T20 team into this prestigious international event will add considerably to New Zealand’s domestic competitions.”
Otago Cricket Chief Executive Ross Dykes said confirmation of Otago’s entry was great news for cricket in the region. “I am not sure any of us yet realize just how much this could mean to the growth of the game in Otago and Southland,” said Dykes.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of Otago Cricket and its players. It is quite conceivable that our players can perform to a level that gets them world recognition – and a chance to step up to the BLACKCAPS or an IPL contract.”
Dykes confirmed that BLACKCAP Brendon McCullum and England all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas would both be eligible to play for the Volts.
State Otago Volts coach Mike Hesson said players, management and supporters had been hopeful of receiving confirmation for a long time. “To hear it is confirmed is hugely exciting,” Hesson said. “This will give the Otago Volts a chance to show their skills and shine on the world stage."
Craig Cumming, Volts captain, said the team was excited about the opportunity of playing in the Champions League. “We’re very proud to represent our province in an international tournament like this,” said Cumming. “Our guys are getting a unique opportunity to play the best teams from around the world and it will certainly help each of them to develop their experience and skill.”