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NZ Cricket launch Twenty20 series

New Zealand Cricket's announced there will be a Twenty20 tournament between Major Association teams as part of the next domestic season schedule.

New Zealand have joined the Twenty20 bandwagon by introducing a tournament for the 2005-06 domestic season. Martin Snedden, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, announced the schedule today and said the competition would be used to gauge its popularity after successful trials in England and South Africa.

The Twenty20 tournament will involve two pools of three teams playing a home and away game before the top qualifiers contest the final on February 6. "There was a lot of interest in the international Twenty20 against Australia earlier this year and with the availability of the New Zealand players for the state teams we anticipate high interest," Snedden said.

New Zealand face a relatively quiet international summer with visits from Sri Lanka and Australia for one-day series and a Test and limited-overs tour from West Indies in February and March. "The increased availability of the New Zealand players for domestic cricket will be good for the quality of the domestic competition overall and will be an added promotional drawcard for State Shield and State Championship matches," Snedden said.

Snedden said gaps between games in the State Shield and State Championship had been lengthened after talks with the Cricket Players Association. "This initiative will provide better management of player workloads," he said.

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