ICC praises BCCI for Twenty20 cricket nod

Published: Tuesday, July 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Dubai:Aware that India's absence would have taken much gloss off the event, an elated ICC today hailed the BCCI decision to take part in next year's Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa.

''The BCCI's decision is excellent news for cricket as it ensures the inaugural ICC Twenty20 World Championship will involve all ICC Full Members.

''That means the winning team can truly call itself the best in the world in this exciting new form of the game,'' ICC President Percy Sonn said in a statement here today.

''Twenty20 cricket has been a huge success wherever it has been played and this short and sharp event of just nine playing days will provide a global focus for the new format.

''We congratulate the BCCI on joining the other Full Members in embracing the format and look forward to a world-class tournament in South Africa that will capture the cricketing public's imagination,'' added Mr Sonn.

India was initially reluctant and expressed a strong disliking for the slam-bang version of the game but considering that majority of the ICC members had given their nod for the event, the BCCI Executive Committee yesterday decided to jump on the bandwagon.

Meanwhile, the ICC also confirmed the 2007 ICC Twenty20 World Championship will involve not only the 10 Full Members but also the two leading Associate sides.

Those two teams will be decided at next January's ICC World Cricket League Division One in Kenya that involves Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands and Scotland.

''This decision gives an added context to the World Cricket League and provides our leading Associate sides with a massive incentive in Kenya.

''The two teams that qualify will have an opportunity to showcase themselves on both a national and global level, something that should provide a massive boost for their own development programs,'' he added.

The format, venues and dates for the ICC Twenty20 World Championship will be announced in due course, an ICC statement said.

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