New English Twenty20 league on the cards

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 May, 2009, 12:00am

A new Twenty20 English Premier League will start next summer, according to Mike Gatting, the ECB's managing director of Cricket Partnerships. 'An announcement will be made in a couple of months and we will have our own Twenty20 league next year in June,' Gatting said.

He denied England was jumping on the Indian Premier League bandwagon, but agreed it was an ideal vehicle to raise revenue and attract new spectators.

'It is not as if we are jumping on the bandwagon. We are the people who started Twenty20 and put it on the map. The reason for this game was to encourage the type of people who don't normally watch cricket to come and watch the game.

'Those women and children who don't want to hang around five or six hours can now come in and watch a result by the end of the evening. This is fast cricket. The great thing about this game is that it evolves. And the great thing about Twenty20 is that it is a good revenue earner.'

Gatting also endorsed the move to have day-night test matches, although he said England didn't need to go down that track right now.

'We are lucky in England in that all our test match grounds are generally full, unless you are in Durham in May when it is very cold. But when you look at the last Ashes series in England, or other tests, the grounds were full.

'But I have an open mind on day-night tests. If it can get crowds in, and people who have to work during the day, it will be good. When I first toured India and Pakistan, the stands were full for test matches.

'But sadly that isn't the case now. People might come in to see a Sachin Tendulkar bat or a Wasim Akram bowl on a specific day, but generally attendance levels have dropped.

'If day-night tests are the way to go, why not?'