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ECB to be offered 10m tour match

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke will hold talks on Tuesday with Texan billionaire Allen Stanford over a one-off Twenty20 match.

Stanford is set to offer the ECB $20m (10.1m) for a winner-takes-all match against a West Indies all-star side during England's tour early next year.

Stanford has already bankrolled a Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies.

Clarke has also said he will consider proposals for an English version of the Indian Premier League.

The IPL has signed some of the world's top stars but Dimitri Mascarenhas will be the only English player involved.

England's centrally contracted players are not allowed to appear in the IPL and Clarke plans to launch his own Twenty20 tournament as early as 2010.

He said: "We believe that we can set up a spectator-friendly, economically sustainable competition of our own."

"(But) We don't want a knee-jerk reaction to the IPL."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has banned its 12 centrally contracted players - including the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Andrew Flintoff - from participating in the multi-million pound IPL because the tournament clashes with international commitments.

But Pietersen has called for England players to be able to compete in the lucrative competition, which starts on Friday.

However, a possible English Premier League - with strong links to the IPL - could be the ideal compromise for the ECB and its best players.

And IPL commissioner Lalit Modi said he would welcome the creation of an EPL, providing it does not clash with his tournament in April and May.

"As long as an English Premier League was not played at the same time as ours, then I see no problem with partnership," said the Indian Cricket Board vice-president. "I think it's a good idea."

Timing would not be an issue for the ECB, who would most likely host the tournament in either June or July.

Clarke will lead an ECB delegation to India this week to observe how the IPL is run and forge potential future links with the IPL organisers.

source - bbc.co.uk
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