PAUL Collingwood will play Twenty20 cricket in South Africa this October, but in whose colours is yet to be decided.
The country was the surprise choice to host this year’s Champions League, the world’s most lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
Collingwood and Herschelle Gibbs will both be there, but whether their Durham team-mates will depends on this summer’s Twenty20 Cup.
The Champions League brings together the best teams from the domestic Twenty20 leagues in India, New Zealand, West Indies, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and England.
The Twenty20 Cup finalists take the English slots. At the halfway point of the group stages, Durham are fourth in the northern pool.
The top two in each group, plus the two best third-place teams, go through to the quarter-finals.
Collingwood (pictured) and Gibbs spent their winter playing for Perth Scorchers, who qualified as runners-up in Australia’s Big Bash. Gibbs picked up another silver medal with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
The rules on who has first call on players who qualify for more than one team are unclear, but Collingwood is under the impression that if Durham make it to the Champions League, he will play for them rather than Perth. He is yet to play Twenty20 cricket for the Riversiders this year because of a broken hand.
No longer in England’s plans, the 36-year-old all-rounder from Shotley Bridge now spends his winters on the lucrative global Twenty20 circuit.
He captained now-defunct South African franchise Impi in the spring and was due to play for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL until they decided he was not required.
As the richest and most watched Twenty20 league the IPL holds sway, and Mumbai seem certain to have priority on Gibbs. India was expected to host the Champions League for the third time but instead the games will be in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Centurion and Durban.
Other teams who have already qualified are Sialkot Stallions (Pakistan), Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils (IPL), Auckland Aces (New Zealand), Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies), Sydney Sixers (Australia), and Titans and Lions (South Africa).
Meanwhile, former Durham leg-spinner Moneeb Iqbal has been named in Scotland’s squads to take on Canada in the Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League.
Another ex-Durham player, Kyle Coetzer, will join the squad for the two World Cricket League matches.