Twenty20 here to stay

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that a future Twenty20 World Championship will be introduced into world cricket, with an invitational event in 2007 followed by a fully fledged event in 2009 which will be compulsory for all ICC full member countries.

The announcement comes after an ICC board meeting in Dubai, where officials from the ICC full member nations agreed to the creation of the championship, overcoming previous reticence from some sectors of the board.

The ICC released a statement informing that the issue was raised in the meeting, and that further discussions on the matter will take place.

"Several members are strongly in favour of including a Twenty20 World Championship in the next round of ICC events while other members are not as enthusiastic," the statement said.

Twenty20 cricket has taken the world by storm, offering spectators a more action packed, briefer form of the game, but as with one-day cricket at its inception, has attracted resistance as well.

England has shown strong interest in hosting the event, and it was agreed that, should the group of Asian nations bidding for the 2011/2015 World Cups supply a compliant bid, England would withdraw its bid to host the 2015 World Cup, at which point it will be proposed that England host the 2009 Twenty20 event and the 2019 World Cup.

This would leave the Asian group and the Australia/New Zealand bid as the only competitors bidding to host the 2011 World Cup.

Other key outcomes of the ICC meeting were the cancellation of the super-sub playing condition with immediate effect, and a new six-year future tours program for the ICC’s 10 Full Members.

The Board is due to meet next on April 30.

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