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Structure group backs shorter season

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Warwickshire Bears won the inaugural Clydesdale Bank 40 last month. The ECB structure group has recommended the competition has a quarter-final stage with effect from 2012

The ECB structure group met for the first of two scheduled meetings on Tuesday and made a number of key recommendations to the ECB board.

The group determined that the volume of domestic cricket should be reduced by eight to 12 days with effect from 2012 to enable a coherent and balanced domestic schedule to be delivered.

The group will recommend that quarter-finals for the Clydesdale Bank 40 be delivered from 2012 and that the competition should be played in four pools of five teams.

The group further noted that following the ICC World Cup in 2011 the format of international ODI cricket will be reviewed and recommended that the format of the CB40 should mirror the international format.

The group noted that many counties have already entered into commitments to playing staffs and other expenditure for 2011 and that cash flow from membership and ticket sales are vitally important in the current difficult economic climate for the 2011 season.

The group is of the opinion that a solution to the reduction in the number of days of domestic cricket must be sustainable for at least the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons and therefore recommended that in order to complete a robust process that the fixture programme for 2011 be similar to 2010.

The group will meet again prior to the ECB board meeting in mid-November to consider the number of LV= County Championship and Friends Provident t20 matches to be played in future seasons.