Lancs chief's doubts over ECB plans

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Lancashire chief executive Jim Cumbes has given a cautious welcome to an ECB review into Twenty20 cricket in England which has called for a change in team structures for counties taking part in the competition.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke has asked Paul Russell, the chairman of the Domestic Structure Review Group to consider whether sides should be asked to field teams comprising four England qualified players, four under 23 England qualified players and three overseas/unqualified players.

The ECB chairman also confirmed that the review group had been asked to investigate a number of different options for consideration by the Board, including an extended Twenty20 domestic competition and other Cup competitions.

advertisementThe Lancashire chief executive said: "I'm all in favour of this review, as long it's done as a matter of priority and comes to a speedy conclusion.

"Twenty20 cricket is entertaining; it brings in the crowds and generates money for the counties.

"So we need a long term strategy which will take these principles forward, and provides a competition which continues to capture the imagination of the general public.

"I think it's a great idea to involve more overseas players, but I'm not in favour of including four under 23 England qualified players.

"Twenty20 cricket isn't the right format to develop the next generation of cricketers; County Championship is where clubs should look to further a player's wider game.

"The growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket is evident by the huge sums of money involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Indian Cricket League (ICL).

"And I don't think it will be long before the two leagues merge, and the IPL look abroad at what other franchises they can include in their competitions.

"It's important the Board and the Counties act swiftly upon this review to ensure we continue to provide the best product, played by the best players here in the UK.

"We gave Twenty20 to the world, and we must make sure we play a leading role in its development."
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