Fri, 14 Aug 2020

London [UK], July 3 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday allowed counties to have two overseas players per side in all county competitions from the next season.

"First-Class Counties will be permitted to field a total of two unqualified cricketers in the same match in the County Championship and Royal London Cup from 2021," ECB said in a statement.

Previously, only one overseas player had been permitted in the County Championship and the Royal London Cup.

The Vitality Blast will remain unchanged, with First-Class Counties already permitted to field two unqualified cricketers in the 20-over competition. The ECB's Performance Cricket Committee (PCC) made the recommendation to the ECB Board, which approved the changes this month.

"There is an important balance to be struck to ensure the need for good foreign players in county cricket and providing opportunity for nine England-qualified players in each county team," PCC chair Andrew Strauss said.

The increase in overseas players will allow county clubs to maintain a high-quality standard in English domestic cricket.

"There are clearly long-established benefits for our domestic players to compete against and learn from the best players from across the world in addition to providing high-quality domestic cricket for county members and fans to enjoy. An increase in unqualified cricketers allow First-Class Counties to maintain that standard while also enabling them to plan and prepare for next summer," Strauss added. (ANI)

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