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Cricket Set to Open New Global Tournament


Cricket is set to have a new global tournament with the creation of a Twenty20 World Championship.

Unlike the usual 50 overs per side for a one-day match, a Twenty20 match features only 20 overs per side. It was was pioneered three years ago in professional cricket at the county level in England and has drawn large crowds around the world.

England wants to stage the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship in 2009 and could get the nod if it agrees to withdraw its bid to host the 2015 cricket World Cup. That would mean the International Cricket Council could choose between Asia and Australasia for the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. Next year's World Cup will be held in the Caribbean.

At the ICC board meeting in Dubai, some members were strongly in favor of a Twenty20 World Championship while others were not. An invitational Twenty20 event is planned for next year. Members also decided Tuesday there will be a major event every year, with a shorter eight-nation Champions Trophy - the mini World Cup - set to take place on a biennial basis starting in 2008.

Beginning in May, all the ICC's 10 full or test members - England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh - will be required to play home and away series against each other within a six-year period, instead of the current five.

Some information for this report provided by AP.