Yorkshire set off in lucrative T20 tournament

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YORKSHIRE’S players get the opportunity to put themselves in the international Twenty20 shop window when the county competes in the T20 Champions League with their first match today.

Yorkshire and Hampshire - the side who beat them in the domestic T20 final here - are England’s representatives in the T20 tournament which is the richest club competition in world cricket with £1.6m for the winners.

Yorkshire are very much outsiders to land that bearing in mind the quality of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises and others who are waiting in the group stages.

Firstly, Yorkshire have to qualify from their three team qualifying pool and play their first game today in Johannesburg against Sri Lanka’s domestic champions Uva Next.

The other team in their group is Trinidad and Tobago who they play tomorrow (Wednesday).

The top team goes through to the Group stages in which are already placed four IPL sides, the winner and runner-up of both Australia’s Big Bash and South Africa’s MiWay T20 Challenge.

If they get to the Group stage then Yorkshire would then face Chennai Super Kings, Highveld Lions, Sidney Sixers and Mumbai Indians. The groups run from October 13-23 then semi-finals. The final is on October 28.

Yorkshire are guaranteed £128,000 simply for taking part.

A blow for Yorkshire is that they must do without their Australian left armer Mitchell Starc, a key figure for the county in the domestic tournament, who will play for Sidney Sixers.

“It is a window of opportunity for the players,” said Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon. “They get a chance to showcase their skills to an international audience.

“The IPL franchies will watch this touirnament closely and whilst we wouldn’t want to lose any players to it, the fact is that T20 has grown massively, with more tournaments, and players make a lot of money from them.”