Australian state side New South Wales has become the first team to qualify for the Twenty20 Champions League this October after making the finals of their domestic competition in Melbourne.
Congratulating the side for making it to the inaugural 2009 Champions League Twenty20, Cricket Australia's Acting CEO Michael Brown said, "As a founding member of the Champions League Twenty20, Australia is guaranteed two sides in the competition.
"This is a really exciting time to be involved in Interstate cricket in Australia. Cricket Australia sends its congratulations to the Blues on becoming not just the first Australian side to win the right to compete in the 2009 Champions League Twenty20 but also the first team worldwide to formally qualify for club crickets premier event," he said.
The Champions League is scheduled between October 8 and 23 this year after being cancelled last year in the wake of terror attacks in Mumbai.
The second Australian qualifier will be the winner of the other semifinal between Gold Queensland Bulls and VB Victorian Bushrangers.
NSW skipper Simon Katich, who played for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, said his team was up for the challenge against the others who would compete in the event.
"I believe New South Wales has a squad to rival those from around the world and given the experience many of our players have of Indian conditions, we expect to be challenging for the 2009 title. It's a great opportunity for some of our younger squad members to showcase their talents on the world stage," he said.