England news May 21, 2013

ECB sets ambitious trophy targets

ESPNcricinfo staff

The England cricket teams have been given the target of securing four major prizes in a three-year period from 2015. It starts with the World Cup and Ashes in that year followed by the World Test Championship and Women's World Cup in 2017, which will both be hosted in England, although there is no mention of World Twenty20 events.

On a domestic level, the ECB has set a target of increasing domestic attendances across the three formats by 200,000 by 2017. The target is a part of their new strategic plan, called "Champion Counties" for 2014-17, which was announced at Lord's on Tuesday.

Next year will see another restructuring of the county programme to try and bring a more coherent schedule to the season while the YB40 will become a 50-over competition to mirror one-day internationals.

Additional funding will also be made available to the counties to improve facilities such as floodlights and replays screens while the 18 first-class counties are set to receive payments of £144 million between 2014 and 2017.

On a participation level they want to increase numbers to just under 200,000 by 2017 (currently it stands at 183,400) and target a 10% increase in the women's and disability game.

The ECB also revealed that by 2017, they want to stage a youth Twenty20 tournament involving up to 500 teams and they will continue to help clubs impacted by flooding with £2million made available.

Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said: "The economic challenges in recent years have demanded that all businesses reassess their priorities and achieve more with less. Cricket is no exception to this challenge.

"During the past two years, ECB has conducted a widespread review of its expenditure and, as a result, the central costs of the game have decreased as a percentage of our total expenditure. First-class Counties have submitted business plans to support ECB's investment of £18 million in our county game and, in partnership with Sport England, targets have been set to sustain participation in our club and community game."