Cricket Australia unveils plan for new tribal T20 competition

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Sydney, Dec. 15 (ANI): Cricket Australia plans to unveil a lucrative new Twenty20 league featuring cities rather than states in 2011.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia is pressing ahead with plans for a competition that will feature eight cities, six of them from the states that contest the Sheffield Shield and domestic 50-over tournaments.

CA's board of directors endorsed the concept at a meeting on Friday, and chief executive James Sutherland is this week briefing state associations on major changes to the Twenty20 Big Bash, which it hopes will boost attendances and television audiences for state cricket.

"There is a clear global trend towards club Twenty20 leagues being the future growth engine, they are the next wave of cricket revenue growth globally, but also across Australia, and as such the board has approved it and we'll go away and do more work on it," Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young confirmed yesterday.

"Sheffield Shield and Ford Ranger Cup are there to develop players for international cricket. The KFC Big Bash, when it becomes the 'KFC Bigger Bash', is there for entertainment and profit, and there is a strong view that it could see state cricket as popular as it used to be in the old days, where it consistently draws major crowds and major TV ratings particularly if we can come up with some way of international players playing it.

"There is a strong view that we can build state cricket revenue to the point where state cricket is as big and important to us as, say, AFL or NRL is, that it becomes a summer equivalent with that level of public following, and that will reduce our total reliance on international cricket revenue," Young said.

It will begin in 2011-12, after next summer's Ashes, and is expected to include the state capital cities, which initially would be run by the state associations, and two other teams, which are yet to be identified. (ANI)

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