EPL cater to all counties, assures ECB chief

Published: Sunday, July 13, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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ECB a divided house over the proposed multi-million pound EPL T20London: While some of the board members of the ECB are planning to bring in an English Twenty20 Premier League (EPL), board chief has played down on any such plan as the proposal does not cater to the existing 18 first-class counties.

A document drawn up by Surrey chairman David Stewart and MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw, with assistance from the Hampshire and Lancashire clubs, have proposed multi-million pound Twenty20 nine-team league modelled on BCCI's IPL.

''There have been a lot of ideas pushed around, most of debatable economic validity,''ECB chairman Giles Clarke said adding, ''Quite a lot of it is probably not going to find favour with me.''

''I am firmly in favour of 18 counties playing matches for their home crowds. I don't see why they should be fearful for their county futures,'' Giles added.

However, response from the excluding counties was hostile.

"Our initial reaction is that we would be completely against this," said Tom Sears, chief executive of Derbyshire was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

"It would completely change the landscape. We would see the rich getting richer and the have-nots fall further behind. The only way it could work for a smaller county like Derbyshire is if the sum we received was astronomical. If it is not, then we would never consider it," he added.

To take stock of each team, a players auction would be held and there would be a salary cap of about 1.5 million pounds.

The proposed 57-match EPL will be financed by private backers and owned by a company called New T20 Ltd.

The proposal is set to be tabled at an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) meeting on Tuesday.

According to its backers, it would replace the current 40-over league, a competition many feel the English game could do without as there is no international equivalent, in the county set-up.

The new scheme would also envisage the new teams entering a bidding process for players.


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