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."