The England and Wales Cricket Board have today announced a new structure for domestic cricket beginning in the summer of 2010.

The ECB Board held wide ranging discussions at their meeting on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 and debated a number of options for the domestic structure.

The Board unanimously agreed to adopt a strategy for EPL involving all 18 counties and two overseas teams playing in two divisions. There will be 10 teams in each division in a structure which also takes advantage of elements of the David Stewart and Keith Bradshaw funding proposals

The Board also agreed that the 2010 season will also include a 50 over competition and that the aim was to arrive at a schedule which allowed for 16 LV County Championship matches to be played in a two division structure.

The Pro40 competition will end in 2009 and be replaced in 2010 by a Twenty20 League which will incorporate all 18 counties. This competition will be played primarily on Friday nights in July and August. This will be the qualifying tournament for the Champions League.

The Board took these decisions after studying the detailed market research which had been commissioned by the ECB. This market research clearly demonstrated a spectator desire to watch more Twenty20 cricket in July and August.

The EPL will be staged in June with the Twenty20 League being played in July, August and September and involving 5 home matches for each team.

Giles Clarke, the ECB chairman, said: ‘I am delighted that the Board unanimously supported these creative proposals and I would like to congratulate everyone for their hard work and thank those who went to considerable time and trouble to produce documents for discussion.

‘We have already received enormous broadcast and sponsor interest from around the world which was reported to the Board by the Chief Executive David Collier.’

David Stewart, the Surrey chairman, added: ‘These are extremely exciting and satisfying proposals for the future of domestic cricket in England and Wales. I am delighted to support them.

‘They incorporate some excellent ideas and Keith Bradshaw (MCC Chief Executive) and I were delighted to be able to submit our ideas as part of the decision making process and to build on the robust structure proposed  by ECB as a result of detailed consultations undertaken .’

David Collier, ECB Chief Executive, will now be having further conversations with the parties who have been identified as being interested in the EPL by Keith Bradshaw and David Stewart.