After an absence of over 30 years Australia will once again host a team featuring the world’s greatest cricketers after the ICC awarded the rights to stage cricket’s newest major event, the ICC Super Series, to the country it was announced today.

The ICC Super Series will see the number one team in the world take on a Rest of the World side in a one-off six day Test and a three game one-day series to be played in Sydney and Melbourne in October 2005 with total prize
money expected to top $US 1.7 million.

ICC Chief Executive, Malcolm Speed, said that the ICC Super Series will revive a format of the game which has proven difficult to schedule in recent years.

‘Cricket enjoys a tradition of national teams playing Rest of the World sides and these matches have provided terrific cricket,’ said Mr Speed.

‘Unfortunately, in recent years, the way the calendar has worked it has made it very difficult to play these types of games and they have drifted off the schedule.

‘However, the creation of the ICC Super Series will now ensure that these matches become a major event on the international cricket calendar.

‘Cricket is one of few sports that can sustain this format of the game and the prospect of seeing the world’s top team taking on the world’s best players is a thrilling one.’

The incentives will be huge for the participating teams with a winner-takes-all $US 1 million prize expected to be on offer for the Test match and $US750 000 expected to be on offer for the one-day series.’

It has been over 30 years since the cricket Australian cricket followers have had the chance to see an official Rest of the World team in action.

The last time a team of the world’s best players visited the country was in the summer of 1971-72 when Garfield Sobers lead a side including players such as Bishan Bedi, Zaheer Abbas, Intakhab Alam, Tony Greig, Rohan Kanhai
and Clive Lloyd in a memorable series against Ian Chappell’s Australian team.

West Indian great Clive Lloyd, now a member of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Referees, said that his involvement with the Rest of the World teams was
some of the best times of his life.

‘It was a great honour to play in the Rest of the World teams. I was a young man and I was playing with and against the best players in the world,’ said Mr Lloyd.

‘It provided me with some of the best moments in my cricket career and some of the best times in my life.’

Australia is in pole position to be the top team in both the ICC Test Championship and the ICC ODI Championship at the 1 April 2005 deadline.

While mathematically possible, it would take an unprecedented loss of form for Australia to lose top spot on both the ICC Test and ODI tables.

The Rest of the World team will be chosen by a special selection panel convened specifically for the purpose.

Mr Speed said that the problem for the selection committee would be an embarrassment of riches.

‘Assuming that Australia retained its number one ranking, the selectors will have to make some almost impossible choices as they put their team together.

‘Choosing between Rahul Dravid, Michael Vaughan, Sachin Tendulkar, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Inzamam ul-Haq, Stephen Fleming, Brian Lara, Vireder Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly is hard enough let alone having to then choose the
all rounder, the wicket-keeper and the bowling attack,’ said Mr Speed.

The ICC Super Series will begin with three One-Day International matches under the roof of the Telstra Dome, Melbourne on 5, 7 and 9 October. The ICC Super Series Test will be a six-day match at the Sydney Cricket Ground
starting on 13 October 2005 and is planned to take place every four years.

In order to accommodate the matches in 2005, the ICC’s Full Member countries have agreed to slight alterations to the playing schedule to free up time in the calendar to allow the ICC Super Series to take place.

A. Event summary

Cricket enjoys a welcome tradition of composite teams playing against national sides and representative teams. In particular the game has seen several wonderful competitions featuring Rest of the World sides.

The 1970 Rest of the World team including Clive Lloyd, Rohan Kanhai, Mike Procter, Barry Richards and Garfield Sobers played an exceptional five match series against England in England.

In the summer of 1971/72, a Rest of the World team including Bishan Bedi, Zaheer Abbas, Intakhab Alam, Tony Greig, Kanhai. Lloyd and Sobers took on the might of Ian Chappell’s Australian team in a memorable visit to
Australia.

In 1987 in a bi-centenial game at Lord’s the MCC took on a Rest of the World side featuring such names as Alan Border, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Desmond Haynes and Imran Khan,

In 1999, as part of ICC Cricket Week, an Asian X1 took on a Rest of the World team featuring players such as Michael Bevan, Chris Cairns, Adam Gilchrist, Jacques Kallis and Mark Waugh.

In recent years the cricket calendar has become too crowded to allow a consistent and structured approach to fixturing Rest of the World matches and they have drifted off the calendar.

By creating the ICC Super Series, this problem is now addressed allowing the world’s best team to play a Rest of the World side in both a Test match and a three match one-day series.

Since the introduction of the ICC Test Championship and the ICC One-Day International Championship it has been possible to identify the top team both formats of the game at any given time.

These ratings will now be used to determine the participating teams in the ICC Super Series which will take place in Australia in October 2005.

B. The ICC Super Series Test

Participants

The top team in the ICC Test Championship on 1 April 2005 will compete in the ICC Super Series Test match against a Team of Champions selected on merit by an ICC Panel comprising selectors of the highest repute.

Prize money

Every year the top team in the ICC Test Championship on 1 April will receive $US250,000.

Every four years starting on 1 April 2005 the top team in the ICC Test Championship will qualify to play the Team of Champions in the ICC Super Series Test for a winner-takes-all prize expected to be $US1 million in addition to generous match payments to the players.

Playing conditions

The one-off Test match will be played over six days. The match will not have official Test status.

Venue

Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

14-19 October 2005

C. The ICC Super Series One-Day Internationals

Participants

The top team in the ICC ODI Championship on 1 April 2005 will compete in the ICC Super Series One-Day International matches against a Team of Champions selected on merit by an ICC Panel comprising selectors of the highest repute.

Prize money

Every year the top team in the ICC ODI Championship on 1 April will receive $US250,000.

Every four years starting on 1 April 2005 the top team in the ICC ODI Championship will qualify to play the Team of Champions in the ICC Super Series ODI matches for a total prize fund expected to be $US750,000. It is expected there will be $US150,000 for the winners of each match and an extra $US300,000 for the overall winners of the series. This will be in addition to generous match fees for the players.

Playing conditions

The three One-Day International matches will be played in an indoor venue.Matches will be 50 overs per side and the ICC Standard Playing Conditions for ODI cricket will apply.

Venue

Telstra Dome, Melbourne

5, 7 and 9 October 2005

D. Other issues

DISRIBUTION OF FUNDS

The ICC Super Series is expected to become a regular feature on the cricketing calendar and is planned to be played every fourth year. The money raised will be returned to the ICC member countries to assist them in
running the game in their country.

TIMING

Under the ICC’s Future Tours Program there are three series scheduled for October 2005. These three series will be moved to accommodate the ICC Super Series.

For further information:

Brendan McClements
General Manager – Corporate Affairs
International Cricket Council
Ph + 44 (0) 20 7266 1818
Mob + 44 (0) 7786 194974