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ECB unveils 2010 format

NatWest International T20

Giles Clarke

Giles Clarke revealed that a domestic structure without 50-over cricket mirrored the system in South Africa

Following a 12-month period of detailed consultation the England and Wales Cricket Board has now finalised the format for the 2010 season.

In respect of the international season England will play two npower Test matches versus Bangladesh and three one-day internationals in the period from May 27 to June 17.

A further five one-day internationals will be played against Australia from June 22 to July 3.

Australia will play Pakistan in two Twenty20 internationals and two Test matches from July 5 to July 25.

England will then play a four-match npower Test series with Pakistan from July 29 to August 30 and five ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals from September 5 to 21.

The England Lions team will also compete in a series of one-day internationals against New Zealand A and India A in July and are seeking to finalise a tour of one-day internationals versus Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in early 2010.

The domestic structure, in accordance with ECB Articles, is subject to consultation with the first-class counties. The first-class counties voted 13-5 to adopt the following domestic structure:

  • The LV= County Championship has been given priority in the fixture programme and has been confirmed as a two-division competition of eight home and eight away matches from 2010-2013.
  • The enhanced Twenty20 competition will be played in pools of nine teams on a geographic basis (north v south) with the top four teams qualifying for the quarter-finals from each pool from 2010-2013.
  • The domestic limited-overs competition will be played mainly on Sunday afternoons throughout the season, consisting of three pools of seven teams with six home and six away matches, progressing to a semi-final and final in September. The powerplays and fielding restrictions will be the same as per international cricket but the match will be played over 40 overs.

There will be only one unqualified player permitted in the LV= County Championship and 40-over competition, while two unqualified players will be allowed in the Twenty20.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke said: “Directors of cricket and coaches reported through their county votes, that the leading one-day team in world cricket, South Africa, do not mirror 50 overs at domestic level and that, provided powerplays and fielding restrictions were the same as the international format, the skills required were very similar.

“The board acknowledged that the members of the International Cricket Council will themselves be reviewing the future of 50-over cricket after the 2011 World Cup and felt that an increased programme of England Lions matches should be developed in parallel to the first-class counties decision re. the domestic structure.”

England and England Lions will continue to play 50-over cricket internationally until the ICC review is complete.

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