May 24, 2002

Wide World of Sports presents: Super Challenge II

Nine Network Australia

Australia will continue its build-up for the 2003 Cricket World Cup with Super Challenge II, a three-match series against Pakistan in June to be telecast exclusively on the Nine Network.

The series could also decide who is the world's fastest bowler with Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar and Australian paceman Brett Lee both expected to play.

Super Challenge II will see two matches played under the closed roof of Melbourne's Colonial Stadium on Wednesday, June 12 and Saturday, June 15 and a third game at The Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday, June 19. All games will be day-night matches telecast live by Nine's Wide World of Sports.

The concept is similar to the Super Challenge staged in August 2000 when Australia and South Africa become the first teams to play an international in an enclosed stadium.

With the three-game series falling in the winter football season, Colonial Stadium will be transformed to make it suitable for international cricket. The Australian Cricket Board will use a "drop-in" pitch prepared under hothouse conditions at Seymour in Victoria.

In Brisbane, a pre-existing wicket will be prepared in co-operation with the tenant AFL club, the Brisbane Lions.

The Wide World of Sports coverage of Game 1 of Super Challenge II will begin on Wednesday, June 12 at 2.00pm.

Simon O'Donnell will host Nine's broadcasts with Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Tony Greig, Bill Lawry and Ian Chappell calling the action. Richie Benaud is unavailable due to commitments with Channel 4 in the UK.

Also joining Nine's commentary team for the series will be Mark Waugh, Australia's leading run-getter in one-day internationals with 8500 runs at an average of 39.35 and a strike rate of 76.83.

Wide World of Sports will also use the two matches at Colonial Stadium to install a new camera position within the closed roof showing an overhead view of the pitch and the action below.

Super Challenge II Telecast Times

Game 1: Wednesday, June 12 at Colonial Stadium: 2.00pm to 6.00pm and 7.00pm to 10.15pm

Game 2: Saturday, June 15 at Colonial Stadium: 1.00pm to 4.45pm, 5.15pm to 6.00pm and 6.30pm to 9.15pm

Game 3: Wednesday, June 19 at The Gabba: 2.00pm to 6.00pm and 7.00pm to 10.15pm

* Times are AEST. Viewers should check local guides for full telecast details.