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IPL franchise hits Brisbane

Indian Premier League Twenty20 franchise Kolkata Knight Riders will base themselves in Brisbane for a two-week training camp next month.

The Knight Riders, coached by former Queensland and Australian coach John Buchanan, will play a series of Twenty20 games against the Queensland Bulls and the Queensland Academy of Sport at Allan Border Field as part of the camp.

The franchise will bring a squad of 16 players but will not have their international recruits such as Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle, Shoaib Ahktar, David Hussey and Brendan McCullum available, or their Indian one-day stars such as Ishant Sharma who will be playing in the Champions Trophy.

But the likes of former Indian allrounder Agit Agakar and possibly former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly would be in the mix to attend.

Queensland Cricket chief executive Graham Dixon said the camp was a timely addition to the QC calendar.

"John Buchanan is very keen to develop the overall depth in his squad and sees a pre-season camp here in Brisbane as a good way to realise that goal," Dixon said.

"While their big-name international recruits are all likely to be tied up with their respective country's touring commitments, they will use the camp to involve as many of their contracted and targeted players as they can.

"The majority of the Knight Riders players will go back from the camp to play in the Indian first class competition or to compete for spots in the Indian national side before preparing for the 2009 IPL championship."

The Knight Riders will be in Brisbane from September 20 and will train for a week before having a week of matches against the Bulls and QAS.

Dixon said that while the final number of matches was yet to be finalised, the Knight Riders were keen to play at least five games.

While the Knight Riders missed out on the finals of the inaugural IPL championship earlier this year, they were one of the few franchises to return a profit.

Their charismatic owner, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, ensured they were one of the most identifiable of the franchises.

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