Saturday, October 18, 2008

West Indies to host World Twenty20 in 2010

Minutes after speaking about maintaining the "primacy of test cricket", the International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat announced a World Twenty20 would be staged in the West Indies in 2010. A similar tournament will be held in England next June before the rescheduled Champions Trophy is due to start in Pakistan next September.

"There was a choice that the board had between holding a Champions Trophy or Twenty20 and it was decided it would make more sense, and get a better spread of events, for that to be a Twenty20,"

Lorgat said. After the 2009 Champions Trophy, the tournament will not be played again until at least 2012 because the World Cup is being staged in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011.

Concerns have grown over the future of Tests with the emergence of Twenty20, which is quickly gaining in popularity. Lorgat, who attended a full ICC board meeting in Dubai this week, said the world's cricket boards "respect the primacy of test cricket" and the ICC was considering its position on a number of issues involving the abbreviated format.

The unofficial Indian Cricket League met with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the owner of the sanctioned Indian Premier League, this week but the talks failed. The ICC will wait for an official report from the BCCI before considering an application from the ICL to become an official competition.

Players in the event, which is currently being held in India, are banned from representing their home domestic and international teams.

"We are going through a process and part of that process is to wait for a report from the BCCI and we will consider that report and deal with that application,"

Lorgat said.

The ICC is also involved in "on-going discussions" over Sri Lanka's in-doubt tour of England next May after a US$70m proposal from the BCCI for Sri Lanka's players to appear in the IPL instead of the Test tour.

"What we are seeing is the challenge between the way players want to be in terms of their earnings, the potential to earn the most while they have a window in their own careers,"

Lorgat said.

"It's clear what the position of the Sri Lanka cricket board is, they want to see their team to tour England to go through. Equally the England cricket board is keen to see it go ahead."

Lorgat said a "window" for the IPL competition, which would allow players to switch between international and Twenty20 duties, had not been discussed by the ICC.

"We are waiting to see how it all unfolds,"

he said.

"This is the first occasion we have this challenge with the Sri Lanka players. When we do a complete review of the Future Tours Programme that will be up for discussion."

Crowds in Mohali for the second Test between India and Australia have been poor and Lorgat said the attendances were a worry, especially on Friday when Sachin Tendulkar became the leading run-scorer in Test cricket.

"Absolutely, all of us who came through yesterday were quite concerned at the lack of spectators,"

he said.

"It is something we will have to look at very seriously."

Lorgat also said the ICC would be more careful over its handling of the 2009 Champions Trophy following the postponement of this year's event due to safety and security concerns in Pakistan.

"We want to make sure long before the September and October dates next year that we make a final choice on the security situation,"

he said.

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