Sri Lanka and Pakistan sign up for Twenty20 jamboree

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Leicestershire Foxes, who won the English Twenty20 Cup in 2004, will host the event. The other teams will be the current Twenty20 champions Somerset Sabres, South Africa's Nashua Titans, Sri Lanka's Chilaw Marians and Pakistan's Faisalabad Wolves. The final team will be a Professional Cricket Association Masters XI with England stars of past and present.

In the first-round group stage, to be played on the Thursday and Friday, teams will be awarded two points for a win and one for a tie with the top two teams in each group going through to Saturday's semi-finals. Winners of these will contest the final that evening. Each game will last 2hrs 45 minutes including a 15-minute break between innings. Evening games will be floodlit.

Duncan Fletcher has been overlooked for the job of coaching the International Cricket Council World XI Test and one-day teams to face Australia in the Johnnie Walker Super Series in October.

The England coach was tipped to get the job of leading the World XI against the world champions after guiding England to second in the world Test rankings and to the ICC Champions Trophy final in September last year. But despite his obvious credentials, Fletcher has been overlooked for the task of steering the World XI though three one-day internationals and a six-day Test against Australia with the former India coach John Wright instead being offered the position.

Wright's superior record against Australia earned him the post after beating them in a memorable Test series in India in 2000-01 and holding them to a drawn series down under in 2003-04. His overall Test record as India coach against Australia includes four wins, four losses and three draws.

Wright said: "I've enjoyed some tremendous battles with Australia over the years as both player and coach. This is another outstanding opportunity to pit my wits and skills against them. It will be a real privilege and a great thrill to work with so many outstanding players during the series."

His appointment was endorsed by the ICC chief executive, Malcolm Speed, after being recommended by the former India captain Sunil Gavaskar. "John is a highly experienced and respected coach who knows what it is like to beat Australia," Gavaskar said.