IPL, an opportunity for trans-Tasman competition: NZ Chief

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Wellington, Sep 14 (UNI) The multi-million dollar Twenty20 Indian Premier Leauge (IPL) launched by the BCCI will provide New Zealand Cricket (NZC) with an opportunity to have their teams compete in a trans-Tasman Twenty20 competition, NZC CEO Justin Vaughan said today.

IPL which will have three million dollar total prize money was luanched by the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) overnight.

NZC chief Vaughan said, ''We have had preliminary talks with Cricket Australia about establishing a trans-Tasman league which will feed into subsequent global championships.

''Both New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia are interested in exploring this potential further with the possibility of a trans-Tasman league starting as early as the 2008/09 cricket season,'' he was quoted as saying on 'Blackcaps' website.

''The two top teams from this league would then progress to the Champions Twenty20 Tournament to play teams from Indian, African and European leagues,'' he added.

IPL will be an eight-team league based on metropolitan cities though the exact cities and the venues of the competition were yet to be finalised. It will be structured on ''franchise model'' like the English Premier League.

Franchisees will own clubs/teams by paying a fee to the franchisor, which is the BCCI. The franchisees will bid for players.

The eight teams league will be divided into two divisions and they will play on a home and away basis with the other seven teams making the total number of matches to 59 to be played in 44 days.

The International League which is slated to be held in October next year, initially among eight teams -- winners and runners-up team from India, Australia, South Africa and England -- will have two divisions of four each.

Fifteen matches --12 group league matches, two semi-finals and a final -- will be played in nine days.

The winners of the international league will get a whopping two million dollar while the runners-up will pocket one million. The two losing semi-finalists will be richer by five lakh dollars each while the remaining four particpating teams will get 2.5 lakh dollars each.

''Unlike the proposed 'rebel' Indian Cricket League (ICL), the Indian Premier League and Champions Twenty20 Tournament will give priority to international cricket commitments.

''The concept is a very exciting development and has the full support of NZC,'' Vaughan asserted.

UNI

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