The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has begun the process of changing its Articles of Association on Tuesday (March 28), to allow for the introduction of a new T20 competition. The decision to change the constitution was ratified with the unanimous support of the ECB’s board and was described as a “watershed” moment for the game by the ECB chairman Colin Graves.
The ECB’s current constitution requires all 18 first class counties to be included in any competition sanctioned by the governing body. With the introduction of the new eight-team tournament, this requires changing, although the changes will make clear this applies only to the new competition and does not affect the other county competitions.
The ECB’s 41 members – the 18 first class counties, 21 non-first class counties, the MCC and the Minor Counties Association – will now have 28 days to agree to the changes. A three-quarters majority, or 31 votes, is required to enact the change and it is understood that this should be a formality. The 21 non-first class counties, led by Devon, will be voting for the measure.
“The ECB board today gave their unanimous support to trigger a formal process to change the game’s Articles of Association and allow a new T20 competition,” said Graves.
“Our members have seen the evidence for why the new T20 proposal is the right way to reach new audiences, create new fans and fuel the future of the game.
“Together, we can now take a huge opportunity to not only create a deeper engagement with those who currently follow cricket but to attract a whole new audience and ensure the sustainability of our game. This is a watershed moment for us all to make the whole game stronger.”
The ECB also announced a review of their Articles of Association more generally, covering financial regulations and expected to take six to nine months, as well as a governance review, led by deputy chairman of ECB Ian Lovett, which will include looking at the board structure and composition of ECB committees.
Also announced was a change to the Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with the ECB planning to sign MoUs with a single entity in each county rather than separate ones, as now, between first class counties, the county boards, the premier leagues and the minor counties.
“Two years ago, on becoming Chairman of the ECB, I promised members open discussion, transparency and accountability with my main objective of attracting more revenue into the game to be passed onto its stakeholders,” said Graves.
“The Articles and Governance reviews I am announcing today are very much part of delivering this vision. Good governance is critical to effective decision-making, minimising risk and protecting reputation – it’s essential for the future success of cricket.”