<strong>State Summer of Cricket schedules released</strong>

An extended State Twenty20 competition and increased coverage of matches by SKY Television are the outstanding features of the men's 2008/09 season released today by New Zealand Cricket.

The men's State Twenty20 competition expands from six rounds and a final last season, to eight rounds and a final for 2008-09. SKY will televise a record eight State Twenty20 matches, and the State Shield final.

"After a stellar beginning, Twenty20 cricket has moved to a new level with the success of last year's World Cup Twenty20 tournament and the inaugural IPL competition from India earlier this year," said NZC CEO Justin Vaughan.

"Twenty20 cricket offers high octane entertainment in a condensed three hour window, and is bringing in record crowds both to live games and televised matches.

"It simply makes sense for NZC and our Major Associations to expand that offering in this year's schedule," he said.

The State Championship opens the summer in November, with the State Shield taking its regular mid-summer spot in December and January. The expanded State Twenty20 competition will be contested during a dedicated four week window in February.

"It is great to see more domestic cricket on television and we send our thanks to our partners at SKY for their role in bringing the game to a wider audience," Vaughan added.

The State Twenty20 games will be showcased on SKY through a weekly Wednesday Night Live Cricket slot at 7pm, and Sunday afternoon matches each week.

"The State Summer of Cricket is integral to summer in New Zealand and a major showcase for all forms of the game," says Vaughan.

"Our domestic game allows our current emerging players to challenge for places in our elite teams, and inspire the players of the future."

Further information: To arrange an interview with Justin Vaughan or for more information, please contact John Durning on ph 021-531-194.

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