England could stage rival league to IPL

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/c/cricket3.jpg' class='caption'> England may &quot;effectively abolish&quot; its traditional county cricket structure and stage a 50 million pound Twenty20 tournament from June 2010.

Updated: July 16, 2008 17:03 IST
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In a bid to pose competition to the Indian Premier League, England may "effectively abolish" its traditional county cricket structure and stage a 50 million pound Twenty20 tournament from June 2010.

"A blueprint has been prepared for a 50 million pound Twenty20 tournament to be staged in England which will rival the Indian Premier League. The radical proposal would see the county structure replaced by nine franchises based on the grounds that already stage Tests and one-day games," the 'BBC Sport' reported.

"They have said the event would be scheduled for June and July from 2010. The document of proposals for the 25-day spectacle will be put forward for discussion by the England and Wales Cricket Board this month," it added.

It is also suggested that each squad would consist of 12 home-grown players, of which three must be under-23, with a salary cap of 1.5 million pounds.

The England and Wales Cricket Board, however, made its stance clear, saying "We don't know anything about (the proposals). Nothing's been presented to the Board yet and it's not on the agenda for our next board meeting."

But BBC Radio 5 Live cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew believes "This tournament would effectively abolish the long-established county structure.

"The smaller counties will see this as the beginning of the end... But the most controversial aspect is that the event is not going to be owned by the ECB, it will be a new company in which the ECB would be merely a stakeholder. It's a radical suggestion - but it's purely that at the moment," it said.

The 57-match tournament is said to have the backing of MCC, Lancashire, Hampshire and Surrey. An MCC, however, spokeswoman declined to comment.

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