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Isolated India ready for first Twenty20 World Cup

NEW DELHI: India will enter next year's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup after their opposition to the short-game format was brushed aside by other major cricketing nations, officials said on Sunday.

"We were out-voted 10-1 in the (recent) ICC meeting in London," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Niranjan Shah told reporters after a meeting of the board.

The BCCI would also introduce the Twenty20 format at domestic level in the build-up to the World Cup in South Africa in September 2007.

"The BCCI did not find support at the ICC meeting and having accepted it, we didn't want to be reluctant participants," board treasurer N.Srinivasan said.

The India and Pakistan boards jointly opposed the plan announced in February by the International Cricket Council (ICC), concerned that the new format could diminish interest in the commercially lucrative 50-overs version.

However, Pakistan subsequently introduced Twenty20 into its domestic circuit and backed the event.

India captain Rahul Dravid has also backed the format which is already hugely popular, particularly with young fans, in England.

The board also decided to take urgent steps to raise the standard of Indian umpires, none of whom currently find a place in the ICC's elite panel for tests.

"We will give them training and also improve the quality of judging the umpires," Srinivasan said. Two top software companies would videotape and help analyse umpiring decisions in Ranji Trophy matches from next season.

The board also decided to set up a museum at its Mumbai headquarters.




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