English Premier League to start from 2010

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London, Jul 16 (UNI) England's answer to the IPL, the much talked about English Premier League (EPL), will start in 2010, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced today.

The Twenty20 tournament will Involve all the 18 counties along with two overseas teams and will feature international players.

The proposed EPL, which will be staged in June, follows the multi-million dollar launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which started in April.

''The EPL will be staged in June with the Twenty20 League being played in July, August and September and involving five home matches for each team,'' the ECB said in a statement.

There will also be a new Twenty20 league played on Friday and Saturday nights in July and August to replace the current Pro40 competition which is played on Sundays.

The new domestic Twenty20 competition will only comprise the 18 counties and not feature any additional overseas players but will serve as the qualifying competition for cricket's Champions League involving top teams from around the world.

ECB chairman Giles Clarke said it is unlikely that teams from Indian or Pakistan would be involved in the EPL since they will compete in the IPL.

''We do not expect the other teams to be Indian or Pakistani.

They could be Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies, who knows?'' Clarke said. ''The important thing is, it's going to be a very high standard competition, a very exciting competition.'' UNI XC AB PM2205

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