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ECB agrees new T20 format to ‘drive participation’

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The launch of a new-look eight-team Twenty20 competition has been agreed by cricket’s governing body in an attempt to “drive interest and participation”.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reached an agreement with the chairs and chief executives of the First Class Counties, Marylebone Cricket Club and the Professional Cricket Association (PCA), although the counties will begin a wider consultation process.

Cricket Unleashed, as the strategy has been called, will see the new competition played at Test grounds within cities, and will be staged alongside the existing NatWest T20 Blast.

According to the ECB, the proposal will “provide greater financial stability” to the 18 First Class Counties. The plan will be formally considered by the ECB Board in October.

“This T20 format was invented here and is successful worldwide,” said ECB chair Colin Graves. “It can excite new fans, attract the best and fuel the future of the game, on and off the pitch.”

He added: “The need to grow interest and participation in the game we love is at the core of our thinking and this is a rigorous process.”

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The launch of a new-look eight-team Twenty20 competition has been agreed by cricket’s governing body in an attempt to “drive interest and participation”.
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The competition will work alongside the existing T20 Blast tournament
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