The proposed £50million Twenty20 tournament based on the Indian Premier League proposed by the MCC, Lancashire, Hampshire and Surrey as been rejected by the ECB executive.
According to a report in the 'The Daily Telegraph', the ECB is instead focussing on a Twenty20 event comprising 18 counties and two overseas teams after smaller counties rejected the initial plan of having a nine-team tourney.
The ECB's executive board met last night in which the counties made it clear that the proposed franchise-based English Premier League would put the interest of smaller domestic sides in jeopardy.
"An executive board meeting of the England and Wales Cricket Board is believed to have decided to back an EPL based on the 18 counties and two overseas teams, with one likely to be provided by Allen Stanford," the report said.
Counties feared such a tournament would restrict the spectator interest to bigger counties, which would be a body blow to the structure of English domestic cricket.