Semi-finals for 50-over tournament in 2007
The ECB have announced that the 50-over domestic competition, currently the C&G Trophy, will include a semi-final stage in 2007. There was been widespread criticism of the current format with just the top team for the North and South conference going into the final at Lord's
Hugh Morris, the ECB's deputy chief executive, said that the decision had been taken by the ECB board but it had been widely expected following calls from players and county officals to reduce the number of dead matches.
"There were extremely strong cricketing reasons for reintroducing a semi final stage in next year's competition," said Morris. "The introduction of semi-finals will increase the intensity of the competition during the popular regional group stages. This move will benefit the players and the spectators alike."
This year's C&G Final will take place at Lord's on Saturday August 26 between Sussex and either Durham or Lancashire, with the final round of qualifying matches being played this Sunday.