Cricket: Three-way pull for McCullum

New Zealand Cricket expects confirmation within the next month that they will have a team in October's Champions League.

NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said they had received a commitment from the board of the Champions League that they will be notified before the final of the State Twenty20 final, to be held on March 1, so the game can be marketed as a Champions League qualifier.

With $9.5 million in prizemoney, $3.8m to the winners, up for grabs in the Champions League, it promises to be the highest-stakes game in New Zealand
cricket history.

Further intrigue will be added if Brendon McCullum's Otago win the final, paving the way for a three-way tug of war for the wicketkeeper-batsman should his Indian Premier League franchise, Kolkata Knight riders, also qualify.

Now that McCullum has played for New South Wales his place in October's Champions League is ensured, with both Australian finalists to appear.

Vaughan said he could be released to play for either NSW or Kolkata, upon payment of a US$200,000 [$380,000] transfer fee.

- Herald on Sunday

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