Twenty20 explosion April 29, 2009

ECB votes for new Twenty20 tournament

Cricinfo staff

The ECB has confirmed that there will be a second, two-divisional, Twenty20 tournament from the 2010 season to provide their version of the IPL including extra international players.

The board voted on the proposal on Wednesday and said the new event, set to be called P20, will take place in the middle of the season with the current Twenty20 Cup pushed back towards the end of the summer. There will be two divisions of nine teams with promotion and relegation and the top three teams from each group in this year's Twenty20 Cup will qualify for the top division.

This tournament has been born out of a desire to tap into the IPL-style market and was based on research carried out by a committee chaired by Essex chairman Nigel Hilliard that suggested people wanted to see more Twenty20, although there is a growing feeling that overload may soon be reached.

"I wish to thank Nigel Hilliard, the Essex chairman, and his working party for all the hard work they have put into the framework of this competition," Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said. "I am sure it will be another exciting development in the domestic cricket season."

The board will now consider the playing conditions, the number of overseas players and other technical issues at their forthcoming meeting.

A two-division format goes against the successful franchised based system used in the IPL and the city-based option that was put forward by a group including MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw.

The P20 will also include the incentive of qualification for the Champions League, the first edition of which was due to be held in December but was cancelled due to the Mumbai terror attacks. Middlesex, the current Twenty20 champions, were due to represent England who only had one representative at the event due to conflicts over the ICL players with runner's-up, Kent.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ned on May 2, 2009, 17:39 GMT

    Another thing... a comment earlier asked who "the people" are whom Hilliard and Clarke quote. I believe the data was obtained from surveys, which were carried out solely at last summers' Twenty20 matches. Which would explain a lot.

  • Ned on May 2, 2009, 17:37 GMT

    At Kent, Twenty20 tickets this season are £20 for a standard adult ticket. This in the middle of a recession. Even for members, who get free entry to other formats, a single ticket costs £15. I don't know other counties' prices, but it might be interesting to see what crowds are like this time round. At that sort of price, "overload" may well be reached, with games to spare.

  • Louis on May 1, 2009, 2:36 GMT

    The promoted aim of the ICC is to get more associations to qualify as full members (test playing) or at least get on the main ODI table. The poliferation of Twenty20 leagues is incompatible with these laudible aims. Several other commentors have suggested a wandering IPL. This mght be a good compromise. But, could it be reduced to two groups of four - much shorter (27 vs 59 games). Presumably, this is not workable because it would have negative impacts on TV income. We have entered a period we don't want to be in. We have both to promote test cricket and take advantage of the immediate financial benefits from T20. That can't work. We need the ICC to stand-up for the true cricket priorities.

  • Robert on April 30, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Ah - 18 teams to appease the 18 counties. What is the point of having a second round of 20/20 - but with just more overseas players? What a joke. IPL is a hugely sucessful model - why don't they just follow that.

  • Muqit on April 30, 2009, 15:09 GMT

    I think they should stick to one T20 tournament, if they want ProT20 then they should stop the present tournament, and they must cut back the number of home test from 7 to 4. Only then it will be logical to organize it .

  • Ed on April 30, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    There are two questions here -

    1. Why does the ECB have to be seen to try and compete? The UK domestic cricket season is too crowded already. Will this competition replace the county 20/20 competition, which, with no apologies to certain jingoistic rantings on these pages, was the first such competition.

    2. Why does the BCCI / Indian fanbase see all competition as such a threat? Do they not have confidence in their own product without resorting to legal threats and bullying?

    Oh and lastly, have the ECB not yet realised that P20 is a registered trademark of an extremely efficient liquid sunblock who I would imagine wwould defend their commercial identity rather vigorously -

  • Dimuthu on April 30, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    oh brother...the only saving grace i can think of is if this means the ECB can sell tv rights of this 2nd tournament to a different company to make more money out of it... and that this company would be one of the terrestrial channels. then all of england can finally get to watch some cricket! doubt it tho.....

  • Arron on April 30, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    No, Mr. Clarke, I don't think this is an "exciting development in the domestic cricket season". In fact, it's a thoroughly mind-numbing and depressing one.

    The Hilliard committee's research suggested "people wanted to see more T20." Who were they asking? Not the most passionate lovers of cricket, I suspect. And then, a hint at the cruel truth: "there is a growing feeling that overload may soon be reached."

    Is "soon" anytime before summer 2010? If so, what sense does this decision make? Most English cricket-lovers were embarrassed by Stanford even before willow struck leather. Most devotees of Test cricket are already concerned by the IPL's encroachment, but they can live with it as long as T20 gets no bigger. Personally I wouldn't watch the IPL, but it's attractive, well-conceived and here to stay.

    P20 is a desperate and totally unwelcome copy that, once again, disregards the key medium-term and long-term issues facing the world's finest sport.

  • Srinivas on April 30, 2009, 12:01 GMT

    IPL is the best. ECB cannot overtake IPL with this so called P20

  • Andy on April 30, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    Oh dear. ECB when will you listen to the fans and common sense and not to the county CEOs. This really is a stupid decision. I thought the idea of the EPL was shelved? Two T20 competitions involving 20 teams is mad. If they really want two, one of them should be a knockout and the other the league format. Ideally one of the competitions should really be an elite competition with fewer teams - and maybe even city-based and leave the counties to focus on 4 day cricket and giving England a decent Test team. And what about the players - I can't see the England stars turning out for either tournament, which devalues it further. Ridiculous, IPL-wannabee decision.

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