County news February 25, 2015

Need to look at English Premier League - Graves

ESPNcricinfo staff

New ECB chairman Colin Graves has radical plans for English cricket © PA Photos

Colin Graves, the incoming ECB chairman, has openly supported a new T20 league in England. Graves said there was no reason why a new T20 competition could not be a success, following revelations of the ECB's radical new proposals.

Graves, who will take up his post as ECB chairman on May 15, said English cricket was at a crossroads and there was a need to look at fitting an English Premier League into the calendar.

"We can't ignore the IPL and Big Bash," Graves told BBC Sport. "It's been successful in India and Australia, so why shouldn't it be successful over here?"

Graves, whose investment saved Yorkshire from bankruptcy in 2002, spoke of the need to decongest the fixture list to revitalise English cricket.

"English cricket is at a crossroads and needs to change," Graves added. "Test Match attendances are down, T20 hasn't been as successful as we'd hoped and the 50-over competition isn't bringing in the crowds. We need to look at the whole structure of the County Championship and how much cricket we're playing."

Graves stepped down as Yorkshire chairman, having overseen a transformation of the club. "It was a very tough call," he said. "I thought long and hard about it for about four months whether or not to put my name in the hat. Yorkshire has always been my passion and I'll certainly miss it. But if we get our strategy right, then all the counties will benefit, including Yorkshire."

A strategy document for the future of cricket in England will be published later this year.

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