Counties vote in favour of city-based T20 event


English cricket fans are set to have a new competition to think about after the County boards voted overwhelmingly in favour of a city-based T20 tournament, which is slated for 2018.

The competition, which will be scheduled more like the Big Bash or IPL in that it will be run in one block, will not replace the Natwest T20 Blast but instead be played after that tournament.

It’s also understood that the first two editions will be played without England players, as it will be in July, which is during the home summer and England will be in action. It also means Championship teams will lose big names for the month of the T20 event.

Of the 18 boards that voted, plus the MCC, 16 voted in favour of the idea, and three (Surrey, Sussex and Kent, according to Cricinfo) voted against the proposal. It was an informal vote though, so nothing is set in stone.

Colin Graves, the ECB chairman, said of the decision: “We’ve all been looking at how we can use domestic T20 for an even bigger purpose, especially getting more young people to play.

“This format was invented here and is successful worldwide. It can excite new fans, attract the best players and fuel the future of the game, on and off the pitch.

“The need to grow interest and participation in the game we love is at the core of our thinking and this is a rigorous process. We’ve talked to each county individually about the need for change, a range of potential options and the implications.

“There’s a constructive dialogue with county chairmen and chief executives, the MCC and PCA and now agreement to move forward and further develop this approach.

“The next steps for us all, as a game, will be to extend the discussions and get valuable input from players, members and other key voices across the game.”

The ECB would like a finalised plan by the end of the year, and if it passes formally, it will be the first time in over 100 years that non-County sides will contest a premier domestic event.