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BCCI embraces Twenty20 cricket

July 16, 2006 22:52 IST

Yielding to ICC pressure, the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday decided to introduce Twenty20 cricket in the domestic circuit from the coming season.

The BCCI, which had so far constantly opposed this form of the game, also decided to participate in the inaugural World Championship in South Africa next year.

"We were outvoted 10-1 at the ICC meeting (in Dubai) earlier this year. Except us, every member was in favour of having the Twenty20 world championship," BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters after a Working Committee meeting in New Delhi.

"So we had no other option but to embrace this format of the game," Shah said while explaining the change in Board's approach to the version.

The BCCI had maintained that there was no need for India to play Twenty20 cricket, which it said was invented in England because the traditional first-class and one-day games there were failing to attract crowds.

The domestic Twenty20 championship is expected to be held in April-May, 2007, although the exact schedule is yet to be worked out, BCCI Treasurer N Srinivasan said.

That will make it a crowded calendar as the World Cup of the traditional limited overs game in the West Indies is to be held in March-April, 2007, and the first ever Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa in probably May-June.

"Our plan is to have one domestic tournament every year," Srinivasan said.

The senior members of the Indian team were also likely to play in the domestic event.

The ICC announced after its Executive Board meeting in March this year that beginning from 2007 to 2015, the Twenty20 World Championship would be held on an annual basis.

The BCCI was forced to agree to the members' decision as it had voted in favour of such a proposal at an earlier meeting in Sydney in 2005.

But India's financial muscle had enabled them to get an exemption from playing in the inaugural event in 2007. India, however, were supposed to field a team from the 2008 event onwards in Pakistan.

"Since we are anyway participating in the format, we decided to play in 2007 also," Shah said on today's decision.

Indian captain Rahul Dravid said a few days ago, that India should embrace the new format.

"We don't have a domestic competition and I think it (Twenty20) has a place in domestic cricket," Dravid had said.

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