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Australia planning Twenty20 revolution

Cricket Australia have approved radical plans which will see the launch of a city based Twenty20 league in 2012 which they hope will become the summer's answer to the NRL and AFL.

The plans, which were agreed today by Cricket Australia will cause the biggest shake up in Australian state cricket since the launch of World Series Cricket by Kerry Packer in the late 1970's.

The new city based league will replace the current Big Bash competition and will see 8 brand new city based teams taking part. The current state based teams will be replaced with new teams in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane.

Although the teams will be new the six current state associations will each take control of a team and there are no immediate plans for the teams to be privately owned.

The last two teams will be from regional or growth areas which will be developed and set up with the help of Cricket Australia. Areas being considered include the Gold Coast, Geelong, western Sydney, northern Queensland, Canberra and central Victoria.

Cricket Australia have been criticised in the past for their failure to compete with the Indian Premier League and plans for a franchise based southern hemisphere league with teams in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were shelved earlier this year.

"The board has approved the six city-based teams with a very different look and branding to the existing state teams" said Peter Young, Cricket Australia public affairs manager.

"There will also be two new teams from regional or growth areas, which will be developed and set up with the help of CA. Twenty20 cricket is about entertainment and we want this competition to be summer's equivalent of the AFL or NRL with a really passionate following."

"The city-based teams will give fans a sense of relationship and ownership in the same way that Brisbane people are passionate about the Brisbane Lions. Ideally, we would like to have CA-contracted players in the competition but that is still to be worked out."

source - cricket20.com
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