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New ECB chief wants English Big Bash

24 February 2015
Last updated at
20:17

English cricket needs to introduce its own Big Bash-style tournament, according to incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves.

The Yorkshire chairman wants to follow Australia and India’s lead in Twenty20 and to “decongest” the county calendar.

“We can’t ignore [the IPL and Big Bash]. It’s been successful in India and Australia, so why shouldn’t it be successful over here?” said Graves.

“We need to look at an English Premier League and fit it into the calendar.”

Graves, 67,
takes up his post in May
for a five-year term and will step down at Yorkshire.

He has already appointed a new five-strong executive team at Lord’s and plans to produce a strategy document to present to the counties’ later this year.

Kevin Pietersen Big Bash

Kevin Pietersen batting for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash

“English cricket is at a crossroads and needs to change,” Graves added. “Test Match attendances are down, T20 hasn’t been as successful as we’d hoped and the 50-over competition isn’t bringing in the crowds.

“We need to look at the whole structure of the County Championship and how much cricket we’re playing.”

From Costcutter to frontrunner

Graves made his fortune as the founder of the Costcutter chain of convenience stores.

He set up the business in 1986 and initially had such small premises that he used his own kitchen as a waiting room for suppliers who were meeting him.

He sold a 51% stake in the business in 2007 for a reported £100m, and the remaining 49% four years later.

Graves helped save Yorkshire CCC from bankruptcy in 2002. He has been executive chairman of the county since 2012.

On the decision to leave Yorkshire, he said: “It was a very tough call. I thought long and hard about it for about four months whether or not to put my name in the hat.

“Yorkshire has always been my passion and I’ll certainly miss it. But if we get [our strategy] right, then all the counties will benefit, including Yorkshire.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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