Essex will not endorse ECB's city-based T20 plan
Last Updated: 19/04/17 7:35pm
Essex have become the second county to announce they will refuse to endorse the ECB's proposal for a new eight-team Twenty20 competition.
The ECB is seeking constitutional change required for the city-based tournament, planned to commence in 2020, that would not involve all 18 first-class counties.
And while many of them have come out in support of the plans, Essex have joined Middlesex by voicing their disapproval.
All 18 first-class counties, along with the MCC, Minor Counties Cricket Association and 21 recreational boards, are currently preparing to vote on the matter.
Essex chairman John Faragher said in a statement: "We do not support the changes to the articles of association and consequently the proposed new T20 competition.
"It is essential that the County Championship, domestic 50-over and T20 competitions are encouraged to grow, and they must be protected.
"We recognise and support the Cricket Unleashed Strategy and indeed Essex County Cricket Club has an enviable record in producing England players and captains.
"We are focused on expanding cricket in Essex, East Anglia and Metropolitan London, ensuring there are opportunities for all age and ability groups, male and female, to be actively involved in the game.
"We believe that as a result of the proposed changes, these opportunities will be reduced, that our income overall will suffer and the first-class game will be diminished, in contradiction to the ECB's objective which is to grow the game in this country."
We believe that as a result of the proposed changes, our income overall will suffer and the first-class game will be diminished.
Statement from the Essex chairman
Since the ECB's executive board dispatched the paperwork for voting on March 28, the responses have largely been favourable, although Middlesex and now Essex have registered their disapproval.
Sussex, Somerset, Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire have all given their endorsements, while Durham chairman Sir Ian Botham said: "The competition is exciting and offers a number of positive opportunities.
"We will hopefully be very much part of it and do our best to make the tournament a huge success.
"It's financially very sensible to do it and if we prepare properly and come up with the right formula throughout the summer - just look at the success of the Big Bash in Australia and the IPL - then it's proven that the format has great benefit.
"I would have loved to have played the competition myself. It's total entertainment. I see the T20 format as a vehicle to bring people back into the grounds.
We will hopefully be very much part of it and do our best to make the tournament a huge success.
Sir Ian Botham
"The flagship should always be Test cricket, as that's the ultimate challenge but T20 has its place.
"You want to see kids and young people at sold-out cricket grounds and I think the new competition will help do that."
In the proposal, each club will receive a £1.3m annual share of the new competition's revenues during the first four years.
But in order for the ECB to proceed to the next stage, at least 31 of the 41 member organisations must vote in favour of the resolution.