The England and Wales Cricket Board today presented a detailed overview of current proposals around a new T20 competition to its 41 members. If agreed, the new T20 competition would start in summer 2020.
Across two group meetings in central London, the 41 members of the ECB – comprising the Chairmen of the 18 First Class Counties (FCCs), 21 County Boards in Non-First Class Counties, MCC and the Minor Counties Cricket Association (MCCA) – received a detailed presentation, including research and insight from independent experts, on the vision for the new T20 competition, key operational issues and the role of the current County competitions.
This was the latest stage in an extended period of consultation, discussion and dialogue within the game – which has included over 10,000 interviews and significant focus group research – to develop a new T20 competition format to meet the following, agreed key principles:
- To have a major positive impact on driving participation
- To focus on recruiting the next generation of fans, in particular promoting attendance to a diverse young family audience
- To ensure complete differentiation from existing cricket tournaments to protect and support the future of the County game.
Tom Harrison, Chief Executive of the ECB, said: “This is about growth and securing our future. As guardians of the game, it is the responsibility of all of us to steer cricket to a strong future and to pass it on in even better shape.
“A new T20 competition can be the most globally relevant, fresh and dynamic tournament in world cricket, built for here but highly valued all around the world.
“We are putting in place the building blocks where we have more kids playing the game, a fan base that is growing, a financially healthy network, thriving First Class Counties, with each of our England teams and our domestic competitions delivering and having clearly defined roles.
“That was what today was all about and I firmly believe that a new T20 competition – presented, staged and delivered in the right way – can be such a positive catalyst for the game here in England and Wales to attract a family audience.
“We recognise the challenges we face in cricket, including competition from other sports, driving participation, changing viewing habits, different working patterns and financial sustainability.
“This is a huge opportunity here for our game and if we grasp it, the future is truly exciting. We have already come a long way together over the last 18 months. All this progress is taking cricket in England and Wales to a very good place and it has come through debate, discussion, listening and building consensus.”
Key elements of the proposed new T20 competition include:
- Eight new teams playing 36 games over a 38-day summer window with four home games per team
- All games televised with significant free to air exposure
- No scheduling overlap with the NatWest T20 Blast
- Indian Premier League style play-off system to give more incentive for finishing higher up the league table
- A players’ draft to drive excitement and awareness
- Squads of 15, with three being overseas players
- Venue selection to be based on potential venues’ ability to best deliver the strategic objectives of the new competition
- Event presentation to be centrally directed and differentiated from other formats of cricket
- Each FCC to receive a guaranteed minimum of £1.3 million, or 1/19 of net revenues (whichever sum is higher)
- 10% of net revenues to go to a centrally delivered participation programme linked to the new competition.
Colin Graves, ECB Chairman, added: “Tomorrow I will ask the ECB Board to trigger a change in our Articles of Association to enable the introduction of the proposed new T20 competition.
“We face a groundbreaking opportunity in the weeks and months ahead and, if our members embrace it, the ECB will work with everyone in the game to ensure this huge potential and the investment that will come with this delivers an even stronger future for the game.”