Scotland and Ireland miss out
Although the ECB has told Cricinfo that no plans have been made to identify the two additional sides joining the 18 first-class counties in the new EPL, Scotland chief executive Roddy Smith had said that he does not expect his side to be one of them.
It is widely believed that one slot will be filled by a team belonging to Allen Stanford, as part of his recent multi-million pound deal with the ECB. Despite media speculation that the other could come from Australia, county sources have indicated to Cricinfo that they believe the second side could come from the IPL for commercial reasons, assuming some deal could be agreed with the BCCI.
"Ourselves and Ireland both applied to the ECB about being involved in the EPL but were unsuccessful in doing so," Smith told The Scotsman. "For us it wasn't to be, which is fair enough. The ECB are under no obligation to do anything for us."
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa