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The Pakistan Cricket Board will launch a new look Twenty20 domestic tournament next year on the lines of the Indian Premier League, offering franchises of city-based teams to sponsors and companies.
A senior official of the board said that this year's Twenty20 competition, which has been delayed until August 10, would be the last time that the popular domestic event would be held on regional basis and without team sponsors. "From next year, we will offer franchise of teams like in the IPL to interested companies and individuals and work has already begun in this direction," the official said.
He said the Twenty20 national championship would also be expanded to possibly include foreign players.
"But that will definitely depend on the sort of money the companies and individuals buying the franchise of teams are willing to offer for overseas players," the official said. He said the board had, however, decided to have a mandatory rule that every city team would have at least four under-19 players in their playing eleven in a bid to promote new talent and give them exposure alongside established players.
He said PCB's marketing department had already started the groundwork for a Pakistan Premier League but everything would depend on the response from sponsors and companies. He said the board would offer exclusive television rights of the Twenty20 event in its package of international television rights which would be up for bidding this year.
"The fact is that Twenty20 leagues are now a popular form of cricket and we don't want to lag behind other countries in this regard," he said.
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