The 2013 Champions League Twenty20 tournament gets underway in India on Tuesday, with a four-team qualifying tournament taking place over the coming days to decide the final two sides to participate in the main competition next week.
The jointly owned BCCI, Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa competition is now in its fifth year and has thus far seen Australian and Indian domination of the event—with two wins apiece.
Indian Premier League sides have won both competitions on home soil, so their four entrants to this year's event are understandably hotly tipped to take the title with the bookmakers, per Oddschecker.
The final is set to take place in Delhi on October 6 but, prior to that showpiece occasion, a tremendous three weeks of Twenty20 action featuring some of the world's best players looms on the horizon.
Over the course of the next week, a four-team round-robin will take place to determine the final two entrants into the main draw itself. The competition will then get underway on September 21, with the knockout rounds beginning on October 4.
Two groups of five teams will all play each other to determine the two sides from each half of the draw to reach the semifinals, which will be played in consecutive days ahead of the final.
|Highveld Lions||South Africa|
|Chennai Super Kings||India|
|Trinidad and Tobago||West Indies|
The four potential qualifiers are Otago Volts (New Zealand), Faisalabad Wolves (Pakistan), Sunrisers Hyderabad (India) and Kandurata Maroons (Sri Lanka).
The results of each game will see teams awarded points depending on the outcome, which will then be used to determine the winners of the round-robin stages.
The point scoring system is as follows:
No result—2 points
If two sides are level on points at the end of the group stages, Net Run-Rate (NRR) will be used to determine which team should be placed higher in the standings.
NRR is determined by "deducting from the average runs per over scored by that team throughout the competition, the average runs per over scored against that team throughout the competition" per ESPNCricinfo.
Which country will produce the winning side?
The top three sides from the 2013 IPL, as well as the top two sides from the 2012-13 Big Bash (Australia) and Ram Slam T20 Challenge (South Africa) all qualify directly into the competition. Beyond that, the fourth-placed IPL side enters into the qualifying stage.
The winner of the 2012-13 Caribbean Twenty20 also qualifies for the tournament directly, with Trinidad & Tobago taking the honours on this occasion, while the winners of Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Pakistan's domestic T20 competitions all enter the qualifying round.
There will be no English sides in the competition due to a clash with the end of the County Championship season.