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Domestic agenda not about twenty20

CRICKET Australia kept its glistening new toy, twenty20 cricket, away from Tuesday’s launch of the Pura Cup and Ford Ranger Cups in Brisbane.

“We deliberately wanted twenty20 to look and feel different and have its own stand-alone launch,” said CA spokesman Peter Young.

And that was probably a good thing because in some ways it completely overshadows its big brothers.

While the winner of the Ford Ranger Cup gets $96,000 and the Pura Cup $128,000, the team that triumphs in the twenty20 league pockets $32,000 then heads off to play a finals series in India for a staggering $2.4 million first prize.

They could win in a fortnight the financial equivalent of 18 Pura Cup titles. It is a discrepancy that has many figures in the game concerned though CA has not felt the need to correct the imbalance.

“We don’t see it’s an issue,” Young said. “If you play Pura Cup you are trying to get a baggy green cap. The ultimate prize for an Australian cricketer is to play Test cricket for Australia. It has its own status so it (the prizemoney) is not an issue. Tasmania did not bust their boilers last year to win the Pura Cup because of money. They did it because of its status and because they want to develop homegrown Test cricketers.”

Fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz believes the short game has a bright future so long as it is not over exposed.

“It has a place but as long as they don’t overkill,” he said. “At international level if you use a twenty20 game to start the series it whets the appetite. People are ready to go. It’s one-day cricket. If you start playing too much of it it will lose the lustre.”

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