Twenty20 Super series October 2, 2008

Tri-nation Twenty20 series in 2009

Cricinfo staff

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Packed 2009 calendar
  • Common events for all three countries
    Apr 10 - May 29: Indian Premier League
    Jun 5 - Jun 21: World Twenty20
    Sep 25 - Oct 10: Champions League
  • India
    Jan 6 - Feb 19: Tour of Pakistan
    Mar 6 - Apr 7: Tour of New Zealand
    Oct 13 onwards: ODIs v Australia
    Nov and Dec: Home series v Sri Lanka
    Dec: Tour of Bangladesh
  • Australia
    Till Jan 30: Home series v South Africa
    Feb 1 - Feb 15: limited-overs matches v New Zealand
    Feb 20 - Apr 17: Tour of South Africa
    Jun 24 - Sep 20: Ashes
    Oct 13 onwards: ODIs v India
    Nov: Home series v Pakistan
    Dec: Home series v West Indies
  • South Africa
    Jan - Apr: Series v Australia
    Nov and Dec: Home series v England
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Twenty20 cricket is poised to take its next big step in 2009 with India, Australia and South Africa planning to play in the first-ever "super series", which is proposed to be held in two of those countries.

As the first non-ICC multilateral tournament involving national teams, this event will mark a paradigm shift for the sport's newest format but it faces several hurdles such as finding a window in an already crowded calendar, and negotiating the ICC ruling that allows a maximum of seven Twenty20 matches a year per country.

"It will be somewhat similar to the Tri-Nations rugby series," Gerald Majola, chief executive of Cricket South Africa (CSA), told Cricinfo. "It will be happening next year, and the matches will be held in South Africa and Australia."

However, organisers are yet to finalise a window for the tournament next year, he said.

The Tri-Nations rugby Cup is an annual tournament featuring South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, which was first contested in 1996. The competition is organised by a consortium formed by rugby's governing bodies in the three countries. The 2008 event involved nine matches with each country getting three home games.

Majola said the proposed Twenty20 series - which was finalised during discussions in Dubai recently on the sidelines of the ICC meeting of chief executives - will have a distinct identity of its own. "At this point of time, we are confident that it will take place but we haven't finalized venues, details of the prize money or sponsorship," he said.

The international calendar for next year is already packed with the Ashes and the World Twenty20 in England. These will be followed by the Champions Twenty20 League, and a one-day series between India and Australia. Space is yet to be found for the postponed Champions Trophy as well.

The Twenty20 format took off with the World Twenty20 in South Africa last year that was won by India, home of the largest television market for the game. It soon led to the franchise-based IPL, which offered a prize money of US$1.2million, and was held across eight venues in India earlier this year.

Subsequently, the Indian board took the lead in organizing the US$6million Champions Twenty20 League - to be held in India from December 3-10 - that will involve the domestic Twenty20 champions of India, Australia, South Africa, England and Pakistan.

However, concerns have been raised by the ICC over the need to have more control of such leagues, and Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, even sought one annual tournament to avoid the game being taken over by its shortest format.