Vaughan backs ECB blueprint

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Michael Vaughan

England captain backs ECB's vision for the future

Michael Vaughan has urged the county game to back the ECB's strategic plan and help establish England as the number one side in the world within the next four years.

The England captain lent his support to Building Partnerships at its official launch at a London school.

The most eye-catching of the proposals is the intention to provide financial incentives for counties who produce and play English-qualified players to increase the pool of resources available at international level.

Vaughan does not accept the number of overseas players are always detrimental to young England players’ development, but he believes the Building Partnerships proposals are a good step in the right direction.

“I was consulted on a number of issues and I asked for a bigger pool of players to pick from to play for England,” said Vaughan.

“But we don’t want to pick from mediocre players. There are a lot of issues with Kolpak and overseas players, but if you’re good enough and prepare and work hard enough you should be able to get into our county teams - if you do that you have a chance of playing for England.

“The counties have got it all in front of them now and if they produce more England players, there’s more of an incentive to do that. The whole system has got to buy into this system and make sure it works.”

Vaughan is not against a system which will allow Australians Shane Warne, Simon Katich and Brad Hodge to prepare in English conditions for the Ashes series later this summer.

Despite more than 70 non-English qualified players being hired by counties, which works out at around four for every side, Vaughan believes they can also raise the standards of the county game and ensure only the best England players prosper.

Darren Lehmann

Vaughan has gained from playing at Yorkshire with Darren Lehmann

“Through Darren Lehmann and Michael Bevan playing at Yorkshire, it brought my game on a hell of a lot more than maybe if they hadn’t been there.

“You want people coming over here adding something to the game, we certainly don’t want players coming over here at the end of their careers who are not within a certain standard.

“I think a number of overseas players we have over here are very good and a number of the Kolpak players are very good and really do raise the standard of county cricket - it’s the minority who come here for a two or three-week period just to fill in that I don’t agree with.”

Vaughan also enthusiastically backed plans for an England pool of 25 players for coach Duncan Fletcher to deal with as part of the new blueprint and claimed England were on course to achieve world number one status by 2009.

“We’re on the right track,” said Vaughan. “I thought we were a long way off a couple of years ago but when you see someone like Andrew Strauss coming into the side and doing so well, so fast who is to say that there are not a number of other players in county cricket who can’t come in and do as well as he has?”

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