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Australia look at IPL style league

After the resounding success of the Indian Premier League, other countries too are taking a cue from the popularity of this version and the first to make the most of Twenty20's growing popularity are the Aussies.

As Cricket Australia is considering an IPL-like franchise system for the tournament. The revamped event is likely start in 2009-10, as Cricket Australia and India have agreed to clear their biggest superstars to play in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition.

Australia's six-state Twenty20 competition is going ahead this season, but from the following year the tournament could look completely different, as Australia investigated options for how to structure the series.

The state teams could remain, but another possibility is to adapt the hugely successful IPL model, in which teams were owned privately and signed international players, in which India have confirmed their participation.

Cricket Australia's spokesperson Peter Young told Times Now that they were looking at the franchise model system 'very, very closely'.

"We are doing a lot of research into how we should structure Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition into the future. At the moment we don't have a firm proposal. We are very closely at the franchise model, but it might be another two to three summers before we get to where we need to be."

"One of the possibilities is to invite overseas stars and itís still very much at an early concept stage. Whatever we do in our domestic Twent20, it will be important for it to feed into the Champions league T20 Indian players in the Twenty20 league and we are studying India's IPL Twenty20 model," he added.

Meanwhile Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman and BCCI vice-president on Friday agreed to clear their biggest superstars to play in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition.

"Cricket Australia have asked us already if we would release our players for that and we said yes, they have been gracious enough to release their players for us, so we have no problem to send our players," Modi said.

"IPL has basically been a feeder league to what would culminate to be a Champions League. Over the years and in the next few years, we would see similiar leagues all over the world. All these leagues...their one objective would be the world's best. And nothing can beat actually going out and playing there and being crowned the Champions of Champions League," he added.

In the meantime, the six Australian states will compete in this summer's more familiar version of the KFC Twenty20, with extra incentive as the two top teams will qualify for next year's Champions League.

Victoria and Western Australia made the cut this year and will face domestic teams from England, India, South Africa and Pakistan at the inaugural Champions League, which will be held in India this December.

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