US franchise for English T20?
A report in Friday's Daily Telegraph claims the ECB has held talks with a New York-based investment company in a bid to broaden the appeal of its Twenty20 English Premier League which is set to launch in 2010.
The newspaper states that Durham chairman Clive Leach met with representatives from Sports Capital Partners Worldwide (SCPW) in the USA this week. It is believed the talks centred on the possibility of a US-based team joining the competition.
SCPW is a sports media and entertainment company that owns Major League Soccer and ice hockey franchises, as well as operating as Real Madrid's North American ventures. It was one of the companies that expressed an interest in getting involved in the aborted nine-franchise EPL earlier this year.
The 20-team tournament will include all 18 first-class counties as well as a Stanford XI. The ECB is looking for a high-profile team to full the 20th slot, and this week's meeting indicate it is keen to get involvement from the USA.