Scotland May 29, 2007

Scotland risk expulsion from domestic competition

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There is increasing concern that Scotland might be thrown out of England's domestic one-day competition due to their staging "offshore" tournaments which, the ECB say, "could dilute moneys coming into the game".

Scotland have organised an international between India and Pakistan in Glasgow on July 3, an event that hopes to raise £2.5m for the Princes Trust while celebrating the 60th anniversary of independence for both countries. However, the one-dayer is to be broadcast by Zee TV - not ESPN, who pay the ECB a sizeable amount of money to broadcast all England's international cricket to Asia. Consequently, Scotland's deal with Zee TV could weaken the ECB's next TV deal with ESPN.

"There is a serious concern that offshore matches could dilute moneys coming into the game in the long term," said David Collier, the ECB's chief executive, told the Daily Telegaph.

Ireland are in a similar situation. They face India and South Africa for two one-dayers in June, preceding a series of ODIs between the two nations. But this clashes with England matches on June 29 and July 1. Again, TV coverage is at the heart of the issue.

A spokesman from Cricket Scotland told Cricinfo that negotiations have been taking place for several months but they expect to reach a conclusion this week.

Will Luke is assistant editor of ESPNcricinfo