Associates eager for Championship games

There is speculation that Ireland and Scotland could be included in the County Championship in future, with a three-division tournament being looked at, and those nations are eager to see that come to pass.

The ECB are considering three divisions with seven teams in each, and while Ireland and Scotland won't play in the shorter formats, Ireland boss Richard Holdsworth told Cricinfo he'd be interested in four-day cricket.

He said: "We'd be very interested because our ambition and goal is to play Test cricket.

"To play in a first-class structure with the English counties would help our players develop and would allow them the match time that they need in order to develop as international cricketers and ultimately play Test cricket."

"We don't get much opportunity to play first-class games so this would create an opportunity to help fill that gap and help develop our next bunch of players who may be the bunch to play Test cricket come 2018 and 2019."

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said of the idea: "It's a brilliant idea – it would grow the game massively in the country. It would be a huge step in the right direction.

"Personally I learned my cricket playing in the CB40 competition between 2010 and 2013 and I think it's made a huge difference for us not playing in that competition.

"For us to be exposed to that level of cricket that can only be a good thing."