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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 11:01 GMT
Aussie stars join Indian League
Australia
Australia's star names will be free to compete in the IPL
Captain Ricky Ponting is one of 11 Australia players to sign up for the star-studded Indian Premier League.

Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee and Andrew Symonds are among the names to join the Twenty20 league, which is due to begin in April.

Cricket Australia was one of several national boards to back the league, devised to counter the rebel Indian Cricket League featuring Brian Lara.

Former England wicket-keeper Paul Nixon says he will join the rebel league.

The 37-year-old played 19 one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international for England after being drafted in during the tour of Australia in January.

"I'm a realist," he said. "England have chosen to look forward in the selections they've made.

"I now have two big goals to look forward to in my career, playing in the Twenty20 league and the captaincy of Leicestershire. Therefore, it is my ambition to do well in both of them.

"This is an exciting opportunity, it is perfect timing. India is the mecca of cricket and Twenty20 interest is high due to the national team's success."

606 DEBATE

Played over 44 days, the IPL - the official version - will not clash with Australia's schedule.

Having completed a 4-2 one-day series win in India, the world champions host Sri Lanka for two Tests in November, followed by a Twenty20 international and three 50-over one-day internationals against New Zealand.

India tour down under in December, running through until February, while the Australian domestic season will be completed by the end of March.

Eight teams, to be bought as franchises, will compete in the IPL next spring.

Each squad will be formed of 16 players, comprising overseas stars, local players and emerging young cricketers.

Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi is another leading international figure to join the roster, along with South Africa's Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene and prolific Pakistan batsman Mohammad Yousuf.

The ICL has so far failed to attract a similar number of star names, though former Pakistan batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq and England's Darren Maddy due to join Lara in taking part in the competition, which will also be played under the Twenty20 format.

SEE ALSO
Pollock, Shoaib join India League
16 Oct 07 |  International Teams
Shoaib eyes India Twenty20 league
06 Oct 07 |  Pakistan
Pakistan stars join Indian league
20 Aug 07 |  Pakistan


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