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England set for Big Bash-style T20

Big Bash

LONDON: A new city-based Twenty20 tournament to rival Australia’s Big Bash and India’s IPL is set to be introduced into English domestic cricket in 2018 to ramp up interest in the sport.

The new eight-team tournament, which hopes to attract leading players from around the world, will run in addition to the existing Twenty20 Blast competition involving all 18 first-class counties and is designed to draw in a new generation of cricket fans.

One of the biggest hurdles to the new tournament getting off the drawing board was cleared when it received backing from a majority of counties.

Unlike other similar tournaments elsewhere in the world such as the Indian Premier League, it is envisaged the new event will see proceeds ploughed back into the 18 first-class counties and not into the hands of privately operated franchises.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves, who once labelled the Blast “mediocre”, said Wednesday: “We’ve all been looking at how we can use domestic T20 for an even bigger purpose, especially getting more young people to play.”

Graves added: “This format (T20) was invented here and is successful worldwide.

“It can excite new fans, attract the best players and fuel the future of the game on and off the pitch,” added Graves, following a reported 16-3 vote in favour by the counties and MCC, the owners of London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground.

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