The burgeoning global appeal of cricket’s shortest format has been
reflected in New Zealand’s upcoming domestic programme.

While four and one-day cricket is in a holding pattern, New
Zealand Cricket (NZC) has moved to boost the Twenty20 competition by
expanding it by two rounds when the 2008-09 title race starts on
February 4.

“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 (Indian Premier League) competition from India
earlier this year,” said New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin

“It simply makes sense for NZC and our major associations to
expand that offering in this year’s schedule.”

The summer begins with the four-day State Championship
competition on November 10, with the two round competition
culminating in the final from April 5.

The State Shield one-day competition retains its regular
mid-summer spot between December 4 and the February 1 final and the
expanded State Twenty20 competition will be contested during a
dedicated four-week window ending with the final on March 1.

Meanwhile, the women’s calendar features two elite competitions
for Twenty20 and one-day cricket to enable the national side to
prepare for their World Cup in Australia and the Twenty20 Cup in

The schedule starts with the first round of State League Twenty20
games on Friday 5 December before the opening State League double
header. The finals, including the inaugural State League Twenty20
decider, take place on January 24 and 25.