ECB proposes new Twenty20 competition
The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are inching closer to unveil their first ever city based Twenty20 competition which might kick-off in 2020.
The tournament which has been drafted similar to the Indian Premier League and Big Bash League formats, will have a team each from eight cities and for the first time in 130 years, the 18 first-class counties are set to be excluded.
The counties have been asked to allow a change in ECB constitution that says any competition introduced by the board must be open to all. In return each county would receive a financial inducement of 1.3 million pounds ($1.63 million) annually for five years.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison stated that the new competition was aimed in improving the family audiences and encourage more younger players to take the game.
"We have to think differently if we are going to be successful in attracting family audiences to our competitions," said Harrison.
"This is about growth and creating something dramatically different for English cricket."
The board will have an executive meeting on Tuesday to ratify the decision and Harrison urged the counties to look at the positive aspect of things.
"What we are doing here is future-proofing country cricket," said Harrison.
"I don't think it's so much a gamble, I think it's about looking into the future and saying what do we want our business and our game to look like."
Reports emerging in the media that the teams might be picked from the following cities - North London, South London, West, Red Rose, White Rose, Birmingham, Trent Bridge and South and the tournament will be spanned across 38 days with 36 games in total.
Each team will have eight games scheduled - four away and four at home and will have a 15-member squad with three overseas players in it and a draft system will be employed to pick the teams.
Harrison further assured that the proposed competition will not affect the Natwest T20 Blast but admitted that finding a suitable window will be a challenge.
"We'd like to find room to breath but it's difficult and ultimately we're a market that's hugely reliant on international cricket. A huge part of that diet is Test cricket," added Harrison.
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