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All or nothing for Yorkshire

Officially, the knockout stages of the Twenty20 Cup start on July 7 when the first of the quarter-finals takes place.

In Yorkshire Carnegie's case, however, they begin tonight when they face a vital game against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Trent Bridge.

A victory, tie or no-result would put Darren Gough's men into the last eight - just two wins from the inaugural 2.5m Champions League.

However, a defeat would see Nottinghamshire qualify at Yorkshire's expense as one of the two best third-placed sides across the three Divisions.

Yorkshire would finish second if they win and Lancashire Lightning lose at Durham Dynamos, even though the Roses rivals would be level on points.

Yorkshire would prevail on the head-to-head rule because they have twice beaten Lancashire in the group stages.

If Lancashire avoid defeat and Yorkshire win, Yorkshire would qualify as one of the two best third-placed teams.

The permutations, as ever, are head-spinningly complex, although not as complex as they might have been but for last night's washout between Yorkshire and Leicestershire Foxes at Headingley Carnegie.

Had Yorkshire lost, not even victory at Trent Bridge would have definitely guaranteed their passage as it would all have come down to net run-rate, with Yorkshire's net run-rate currently inferior to that of Nottinghamshire.

Instead, the one point gained lifted Yorkshire above Nottinghamshire into third place in the table and gave them a crucial one-point advantage over tonight's opponents.

The game in Nottingham has attracted the interest of the television cameras and the start time has been moved from 5.30pm to 5.40pm for what is, effectively, a winner-takes-all shootout.

Yorkshire will be without England captain Michael Vaughan, who is to undergo a net session at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough.

Nottinghamshire are expecting a 10,000 crowd in marked contrast to the disappointing crowds at Headingley during the Twenty20 Cup, with Yorkshire having been unlucky with the weather.

Last night's washout summed up that misfortune, with several hours of steady rain leaving the umpires little choice but to abandon proceedings at 6.45pm.

Supporters attending last night's match are entitled to a refund, which is subject to a 1.50 administration charge per application.

To claim a refund, send your ticket and name and address details to:

The Ticket Office, Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground, Leeds, LS6 3BU. Applications should arrive no later than July 30.

A survey of international cricketers has revealed more than half would consider retiring at elite level to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League. The Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, the umbrella organisation for professional players' unions, have questioned top players on a number of issues.

All players who responded see the IPL as an attractive option with 86 per cent feeling the same about the rebel Indian Cricket League.

Retiring from international cricket to play exclusively in the IPL is something that would be considered by 52 per cent. Almost all, 95 per cent, believe a window needs to be found in the international calendar for such domestic competitions.

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