Pakistan Twenty20 Premier League to start next year

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KARACHI, Sep 15 (Reuters) Pakistan will launch its edition of an international Twenty20 competition in October 2008 featuring foreign players and six franchised teams.

Dr Nasim Ashraf, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, told a news conference today the six teams would be franchised to corporate groups who had shown interest in the event.

''The Pakistan Premier League is part of the International Champions League which is approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and will be run by five boards,'' Ashraf said.

The Indian Cricket Board announced in New Delhi on Thursday the launch of the Champions League which will feature the top two Premier League teams from India, Pakistan, Australia, England and South Africa.

Ashraf said the new event would be different from the domestic Twenty20 competition held in Pakistan over the last two years.

''In the Premier League each team will have four foreign players, four regional players and the rest retired and under-21 players,'' he said.

Ashraf added that it would eventually resemble English soccer's Premier League, with players allowed to move for transfer fees.

But he dismissed suggestions the league was being launched to counter the threat posed by the rebel Indian Cricket League which has signed up Pakistani players Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Imran Farhat and Abdul Razzaq.

REUTERS PDS PM1906

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