Gilchrist tops the bill in new-look t20
Adam Gilchrist will add another layer of stardust to the most watched competition in England when the new-look Friends Provident t20 gets under way next summer.
The former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman, widely regarded as one of the finest players in history, will turn out in Middlesex colours after signing a short-term deal in the revamped Twenty20 Cup.
He may be joined by no less a luminary than Sachin Tendulkar - Middlesex are in discussions with the India legend - ensuring all eyes will be on Lord’s when the competition begins in June.
The Panthers start their campaign under the floodlights on June 3 against current champions Sussex, two days after the Sharks get the tournament up and running in another floodlit encounter against Somerset at Hove.
Lancashire, who expect to be able to call on Andrew Flintoff more than in previous years following his retirement from Test cricket, will hope to open their account when they meet Durham at the Riverside on June 4.
Next season sees two groups of nine teams - divided into North and South - with each side playing the other home and away, meaning an increase from 10 to 16 group matches.
The top four teams from each division will qualify for the quarter-finals - to be held in late July - with the victors progressing to finals day at the Rose Bowl on August 14.