Graves: T20 will change the game of cricket
Majority vote gives new contest the green light
THE new, much talked about, city-franchise T20 tournament will begin in three years’ time after being given the go ahead by ECB members.
With 31 out of 41 votes needed in favour of the competition that is set to start in 2020, Middlesex and Essex voted against, while Kent abstained from voting. All other members voted positively.
The new tournament, which will run alongside the existing T20 Blast, will have just eight teams with all games televised including significant free-to-air exposure.
It’s not yet known which cities will have teams, or where the games will be played but ECB chairman Colin Graves is confident the new competition is good for the growth of the game in this country.
Graves said: “I passionately believe that the game has chosen the right path. Each of our members will benefit and, critically, so will the whole game.
“We can now move on with building an exciting new competition for a new audience to complement our existing competitions.
“Our clear ambition is that this new competition will sit alongside the IPL and Big Bash League as one of the world’s major cricket tournaments.”
Essex voted against the new competition due to concerns it would “exclude” certain areas of the country, with themselves, Kent and Sussex likely to miss out should there be two London teams, as expected.
Middlesex said no for a similar reason, with the current county champions feeling they would not benefit financially from their Lord’s home being a likely base for one of the teams. But Graves said all counties will benefit.
He added: “The ECB executive and T20 development team will now continue to work with the game as we build the new competition, ensure it is positioned distinctively from our existing competitions and realise its full potential.
“All decisions – including the creation and base of each team – will be made within the game, guided by our shared strategy and built on best practice, research and insight.
“The benefits it will bring can deliver a sustainable future for all 18 first-class counties and an exciting future for the game in England and Wales.”
Excited: Colin Graves