Nine-team elite league scuppered July 16, 2008

Elite EPL finds no favour with ECB

Cricinfo staff

Although no official statement has been made to the media, it is reported that the ECB executive has rejected proposals for a nine-team elite Twenty20 competition. It had been thought the real debate would be between the counties, who had already expressed very differing opinions, but it appears that the scheme has already been scuppered by the ECB.

Rather than a streamlined competition, the proposal that is believed to have found favour is one that includes all 18 first-class counties as well as two overseas sides, one of which is almost certain to be fielded by Allen Stanford. Critics will be quick to point out that rather than being an elite tournament, what will be offered is an even more bloated event with talent spread even more thinly.

The original plans, which were leaked last week, caused a schism among the first-class counties and yesterday Jim Cumbes, the chief executive of Lancashire, resigned as chairman of the chief executives of the first-class counties after he was accused by four fellow chief executives of not being honest with them over his county's involvement in the scheme.

"There has been a lot of panic and paranoia over this and I can understand the nervousness," Cumbes told The Times.