Australian news August 26, 2010

Lee sets sights on New Zealand Twenty20

Cricinfo staff

A group of Australian limited-overs specialists including Brett Lee could be crossing the ditch to New Zealand to play in its Twenty20 league this summer. Lee no longer appears in whites for Australia or New South Wales so is chasing extra games to keep him in touch for his domestic duties and any international calls.

New Zealand's Twenty20 tournament is in December while Australia's Big Bash is mostly in January, meaning there could be a trade of talent across the Tasman. Nathan Bracken has approached New South Wales to see if he can join a provincial team while it is believed Wellington and Canterbury are interested in Lee. The obvious problem is that the players would be unable to turn out for their home sides and the overseas team.

Last summer Daniel Vettori (Queensland) and Ross Taylor (Victoria) made cameos in the Big Bash while Brendon McCullum represented New South Wales once the previous season. Playing in two tournaments also increases the cricketers' chances of winning a spot in the annual Champions League Twenty20.

Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's general manager of cricket, said he was ready for the moves if there was room in the programme. "The first priority for an Australian player is here, and even with players on the periphery the selectors might want them here, but subject to those things we are open to it," he said in the Australian. "Subject to everybody being okay with it I can't see too many negatives."