White shuns Bushrangers for Bangalore in Champions League

VICTORIA’S bid to win the Champions League Twenty20 title has been undermined by its captain's decision to shun it in favour of his Indian team. David Hussey will captain the Bushrangers in South Africa next month after Cameron White - a vocal proponent of players prioritising their national and domestic teams - chose to represent Bangalore in South Africa.

David Hussey

It will be the second consecutive year in which Victoria will be given compensation of $US200,000 ($A220,000) for being denied one of its players, with Delhi snaring paceman Dirk Nannes for last year's tournament.

The Royal Challengers baulked at signing White last year but this time have paid for his release, rejecting the option of selecting NSW's Steve Smith, already on the team's roster, for no fee.

While White admittedly gave up more than $150,000 to play in the Sheffield Shield final instead of the start of the IPL earlier this year, he intimated last October he would have rejected a request to play for Bangalore at last year's Champions League.''I'm relieved [not to be chosen] but it would have been a pretty easy choice for me,'' he said at the time. ''In my mind I was never going to play for anyone other than Victoria.''

When asked in March about the threat of bans for IPL-contracted players who played in the Shield final instead of travelling to India, White replied: ''Even if I wasn't allowed I was probably going to play [for Victoria] anyway.''

A key factor in White's turnaround is believed to be the next IPL auction, likely to be held shortly after the Champions League. It is still unclear whether teams will be able to prevent players submitting themselves for the auction, which will feature two new teams.

The importance of the looming tournament among participants has been underlined by Bangalore's decision to spend $US600,000 to snare White from Victoria, Ross Taylor from New Zealand's Central Stags and Jacques Kallis from South Africa's Warriors.

It means the Royal Challengers will likely have to reach the semi-final or final of the 10-team competition just to cover their investment. The winner of the league will receive $US2.5 million, with $US1.3 million for the runner-up.

The main injury worries for the Bushrangers are all-rounder Andrew McDonald and top-order batsman Aaron Finch. McDonald is unable to bowl due to a shoulder injury, while Finch strained his hamstring on Monday.

Victorian assistant coach Simon Helmot said McDonald, ''barring anything disastrous'', would be part of the 15-man squad, even if only as a specialist batsman. He said Finch's injury was ''a bit better than first forecast'' but conceded he might not be fit to play in a warm-up tournament in Darwin later this month against South Australia - the other Australian entrant in the Champions League - and Queensland.Leg-spinner Bryce McGain is the only specialist spinner in the squad. Left-arm spinner Jon Holland has been overlooked after shoulder surgery at the start of the season.

VICTORIA: David Hussey (c), Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, John Hastings, Brad Hodge, Andrew McDonald, Bryce McGain, Clint McKay, Glenn Maxwell, Dirk Nannes, James Pattinson, Rob Quiney, Peter Siddle, Matthew Wade.

David Hussey will captain the Bushrangers in South Africa next month after Cameron White - a vocal proponent of players prioritising their national and domestic teams - chose to represent Bangalore in South Africa.

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