PCA gives thumbs up to IPL's rival in England

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London, Jul 15 (UNI) The leaked proposal for a Twenty20 league starting in 2010 for a nine-franchise English Premier League received a timely boost last night before today's potentially fractious meeting of the ECB executives here at Lord's when the influential Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), called it as an ''opportunistic'' plan.

''The PCA feels very positive about a document that is clear, exciting and identifies a lot of opportunities, not just for nine teams but for the whole game,'' Sean Morris, the chief executive of the PCA said in the wake of criticism from smaller counties who fear marginalisation and the threat of a class divide in the domestic game.

''It's a refreshingly professional document and I hope everyone does consider it and its contents. It's not perfect but there's a lot of good stuff in it. There are complex issues but, if they can work out how to distribute the finances, that's good news,'' Morris was quoted as saying by 'The Guardian'.

Meanwhile, Jim Cumbes, the chief executive of Lancashire, who resigned from the chief executives' committee after being criticised for backing the EPL proposal without taking other counties into confidence, also said that fears of smaller counties were unfounded.

''I think it could work. The document says that it respects the international calendar and respects Test cricket and that's what we all want. It doesn't actually have to hurt the smaller counties. It's just a question of distributing income - it's not dissimilar to the way Test money is distributed,'' Cumbes said.

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