As the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) constitution does not allow the formation of any competition without the inclusion of 18 first-class county sides in the United Kingdom, the 21 non first-class sides are mulling to come in support of newly proposed Twenty20 league by votes in order to change the ECB’s constitution, that’ll further allow the tournament to get introduced in England.
“The board shall not have the power to deprive a first-class county club of the right to participate in all first-class county competitions authorised by the ECB,” the article in the ECB’s constitution states.
In order to setup an eight-team competition, the constitution requires amendment that would further require 41 votes of all ECB members which further includes MCC, 18 first-class teams, 21 non-first class teams and the Minor Counties Cricket Association (MCCA).
However, ECB has stated the approach for the constitution has been made. But the document would require some sort of changes if it has to be termed as the first-class competition while being played by the regional sides.
“The changes to the current Articles have not been finalised, it’s a work in progress,” The ECB member Jim Wood, who is also the Devon County Cricket Club Chairman was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
It has been stated the proposal will be sent to the first-class county chairmen, which further include executives of all 18 teams on March 20 – before the meeting on March 27.
“The 20 non first-class county chairmen will be given the opportunity to hear the exact same presentation as the first-class chairmen to then make their decision,” Woods said.
“I’ve spoken to 19 counties. The recreational chairmen are very close to grassroots cricket,” Woods added.
Wood has further expressed the non first-class sides are likely to cast a vote to get new competition introduced in England.
“What we all recognise is that we need something that is new, innovative and vibrant that’s going to attract those that are wavering. What we’ve got doesn’t appeal to a nine-year old,” Wood concluded.
Woods also stated the new league is not driven by riches. However, Essex chairman John Farragher felt the tournament could deem the clubs as “minor counties” which would also marginalise the first-class teams.