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Page last updated at 19:46 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 20:46 UK

Swann hails 'cricket revolution'

By Sam Lyon

Graeme Swann
The two forms of the game (short and long) are completely different... but the success of one form of the game needn't be to the detriment of the other

Graeme Swann

England one-day star Graeme Swann has hailed the "continuation of the cricket revolution" following the announcement of the 10m Stanford Twenty20 matches.

England will play five winner-takes-all matches, the first in November, with Nottinghamshire's Swann set to cash in. And spinner Swann told BBC Sport: "It's phenomenal - these are revolutionary and exciting times to be a cricketer.

"It's inevitable that me and players like me will be desperate to impress in Twenty20 games to play in that match."

The first match, with four more annual contests contracted, will be on 1 November against Stanford's Super Stars at Sir Allen's cricket ground in Antigua.

Winning players will receive 500,000 each, with another 1m split between the rest of the squad and coaches and the remaining 3.5m divided between the England and West Indies Cricket Boards.

"It's unbelievable," said Swann, who has played in seven one-day and two Twenty20 internationals and would be one of the players in the mix to be picked for the Stanford game.

"A few years ago, when Twenty20 started, everybody loved it but it was a bit of fun, a bit of slap and tickle.

"Then it got to the stage when the prize money in England ensured everybody sat up and took notice and now it's a hugely serious part of our sport. Everyone just keeps throwing money at it - I think it's brilliant."

Many critics fear the match could spell the end of Test and four-day county cricket, but Swann said: "The two games have long been different - it's the red ball game versus the white ball game. They are completely different, absolutely distinct.

606: DEBATE
Graeme Swann
"The money side of things means players will be working on their Twenty20 game, at their hitting and how they bowl in the short form of the game.

"But the success of one form of the game needn't be to the detriment of the other."

And on suggestions that the money could cause divisions between those players who feature in the match and those that don't, Swann added: "Only time will tell, I guess.

"But I hope I'm around in that game. It's England at the end of the day, and in any form of the game I play I just want to be the best I can. I'm sure most cricketers feel the same."

Read Graeme Swann's exclusive BBC blog from 12 June.




see also
England bag 50m Twenty20 bonanza
11 Jun 08 |  Cricket
Talks continue on England series
19 May 08 |  Cricket
England set for lucrative series
19 May 08 |  Cricket
England close to Twenty20 revamp
25 Apr 08 |  England


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