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ECB Board approve increase in unqualified cricketers from 2021 men's county season

First-Class Counties can field two unqualified cricketers in the County Championship and Royal London Cup from next season. The ECB's Performance Cricket Committee made recommendation to ensure strength of men’s county competitions.

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ECB Board approve increase in unqualified cricketers from 2021 men's county season

Rashid Khan and Babar Azam played as overseas players last summer

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has approved a recommendation to increase the number of unqualified cricketers that First-Class Counties can field in men’s county cricket from next season.

First-Class Counties will be permitted to field a total of two unqualified cricketers in the same match in the County Championship and Royal London Cup from 2021.

This represents an increase from the one unqualified cricketer that First-Class Counties are currently permitted to field in those two competitions.

The Vitality Blast will remain unchanged, with First-Class Counties already permitted to field two unqualified cricketers in the 20-over competition.

The ECB’s Performance Cricket Committee (PCC) made the recommendation to the ECB Board, which approved the changes this month.

PCC chair, Sir Andrew Strauss, said:

“There is an important balance to be struck to ensure the need for good foreign players in county cricket and providing opportunity for nine England-qualified players in each county team.

“There are clearly long-established benefits for our domestic players to compete against and learn from the best players from across the world in addition to providing high-quality domestic cricket for county members and fans to enjoy.

"An increase in unqualified cricketers allow First-Class Counties to maintain that standard while also enabling them to plan and prepare for next summer."

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