New English T20 competition faces delay until 2020

Northamptonshire

A proposed eight-team Twenty20 competition in English cricket may not start until 2020.

It had been suggested the new format, which will take place in addition to the 18-team T20 Blast, could start in 2018 if it was given the go-ahead.

But England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) bosses have told county members’ forums this week that 2020 is now their targeted start date.

That is partly because the existing broadcasting deal expires in 2019.

The ECB is keen to introduce a new T20 event to rival the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash League, and has said this is a watershed moment for the sport in England and Wales.

It has said it needs to draw new audiences to the game and believes a new competition would increase revenues for all.

The eight-team proposal, which was one of five on the table, was passed by a majority vote at Lord’s in September.

It followed discussions between representatives of the 18 first-class counties, the Professional Cricketers’ Association, and the MCC, which is the guardian of the laws and spirit of cricket.

Surrey, Kent and Sussex were reportedly against the move.