Udal happy being underdogs
Skipper Shaun Udal told Sky Sports News Middlesex are happy being underdogs for the Twenty20 Champions League.
Last Updated: 24/11/08 11:29am
Middlesex skipper Shaun Udal is comfortable with his side being the underdogs, and he says they can spring another shock as they head out for the inaugural Twenty20 Champions League.
Udal and his Middlesex side fly out to India on Thursday for the first edition of the lucrative Champions League tournament.
Domestic Twenty20 winners from India, South Africa, Australia and Pakistan will all clash in a lucrative new tournament to find the best side in the world.
Twenty20 Cup winners Middlesex represent the County Championship in the tournament, but they will go to India as big underdogs after three defeats in the Stanford Super Series in the Caribbean.
Middlesex take on Victoria in their opening game on December 3, and Udal says that his men will relish being underdogs again - just as they were for the Twenty20 Cup.
"We're thrilled with the opportunity, and the challenge as well, to play against the best sides in world cricket from Australia, South Africa, India and from Pakistan as well," Udal told Sky Sports News.
"We're not only representing Middlesex but also England as well out there so it is a huge honour for us.
"Now it's getting closer the nerves are starting to get going and adrenalin is pumping so we're excited to get going.
"We were outsiders all summer, even up to the semi-finals, when there were four teams in it and we were 11-1 outsiders of four.
"We won in the end, by a hair's breadth, but we won.
"We were underdogs against Durham in the semis and won that and again against Kent we were underdogs and won that.
"So we're happy with that and we'll just go out there and play our best cricket."
The English side feel they are at a slight disadvantage selection-wise, with Andrew Strauss and Owais Shah only available depending on England's selection for the first Test against India.
Neil Dexter and Neil Carter are also unavailable as Champions League rules say clubs have to play with the same squad that won their domestic tournament.
Middlesex chief executive Vinny Codrington says that differing rules also works against his side - with Indian teams allowed more foreign stars in their line-up.
"In our domestic competition we can only have one overseas player, whereas the two Indians teams can have four overseas players each," Codrington said.
"So we're starting a little bit behind them from that point of view."
After playing the Victorian Bushrangers from Australia, Middlesex play South Africa's Titans and then face their toughest test against IPL runners-up the Chennai Super Kings.