Singapore: The iSixes World Series, a new tournament billed as a six-a-side extravaganza featuring some of the top names in cricket, has collapsed, organisers told AFP Tuesday.
The event was launched here amid much fanfare in May with teams from all nine Test-playing nations due to compete for a winner's cheque of one million dollars.
Singapore was to host the first leg in July, with further stops pencilled in for Shanghai, Dubai and one other country.
But the event will not take place.
"We have had to go back to the drawing board," organiser Jason Warne, brother of Australian spin wizard Shane, admitted to AFP, adding that he was now looking to start a Twenty20 series later this year.
"It is bad enough having to change everything once and I don't want to say too much about the Twenty20 series just yet," he said.
Among the players confirmed for the iSixes were India captain Anil Kumble, former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak, New Zealander Craig McMillan, Shane Warne and Sri Lanka's Romesh Kaluwitharana.
Jason Warne had been busy trying to sign other top names when the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) told him it was not going to support the event. Official sanctioning from the International Cricket Council also fell through.
In a letter explaining the cancellation, obtained by AFP, Warne said he was now targeting a Twenty20 series between November and March.
"The main change we have had to make to get the ACC support is to stage a Twenty20 tournament instead of a Sixes tournament," he said.
"Obviously this has meant further changes as the matches take so much longer than the 45 minutes that Sixes take."
For the Twenty20 tournament, Warne is working on three groups of four teams, with each group to play in a different country.
The three cities to host the initial round-robin stages would likely be Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, with the final in Dubai, according to the letter, sent Monday.
"Sorry for all of the delays and changes. However, there are a lot of different parties we need to ensure are comfortable with everything we are doing," the letter said.
"It now seems that we will be in a position to lock all of this in finally and start to push forward with contracts (for the Twenty20) in approximately two to three weeks once we have finalised all of the paperwork with the respective boards/associations."