ECB votes for new Twenty20 tournament
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.