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Miller worried by 50-over demise

Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann in action for England against Ireland
England beat Ireland by three runs in a one-dayer in Belfast on Wednseday

National selector Geoff Miller has criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board's decision to drop 50-over domestic cricket from 2010.

County chiefs voted in favour of keeping the 40-over game, arguing the format is financially more lucrative.

But Miller said the absence of a 50-over domestic tournament could harm England's one-day international hopes.

"If all we are playing is 40-over cricket then I have a problem with that," he told The Times newspaper.

From next season, counties will play in the four-day County Championship, a new-look Twenty20 competition and a 40-over event, while the 50-over Friends Provident Trophy has been dropped from the calendar altogether.

The 40-over competition will mirror the one-day format, featuring three powerplays and fielding restrictions.

The leading one-day team in world cricket - South Africa - do not mirror 50 overs at domestic level

ECB chairman Giles Clarke

But despite the changes, Miller believes future England players would be underprepared for one-day internationals and major tournaments like the Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy, which are all played 50 overs a side.

"I am looking at it from a cricketing point of view," added Miller. "I understand there is a financial point of view as well.

"My job as national selector is to win cricket matches and if we do that, it makes money along the line, as will happen with the Ashes."

England Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood echoed Miller's sentiments, arguing a strong domestic 50-over competition would breed success internationally.

Speaking before England's three-run win over Ireland in Belfast on Thursday, he said: "We have always said we want county cricket to mirror international cricket. It's as simple as that.

"No matter what we are playing it is important they get all the experience before they enter the international stage - about how to play in certain situations.

"If you're not playing the 50-over format of the game it is going to be a little bit of a hindrance coming in."

But ECB chairman Giles Clarke cited South Africa's domestic competition - which features a 45-overs a side tournament - as a working model for international success.

"The leading one-day team in world cricket - South Africa - do not mirror 50 overs at domestic level," said Clarke.

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"The board acknowledged that the members of the International Cricket Council will themselves be reviewing the future of 50-over cricket after the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

"And it is felt that an increased programme of England Lions matches should be developed in parallel to the first-class counties decision re the domestic structure."

The ECB has also increased the number of overseas players permitted in Twenty20 action from one to two, though the limit will remain at one in Championship cricket.

England's first one-day county competition was the Gillette Cup, which began as a 65-over competition in 1963 - and has progressed through various incarnations as the NatWest Trophy, Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy and Friends Provident Trophy.



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see also
Caddick raises Twenty20 concerns
27 May 09 |  Somerset
Rose calls for extended T20
20 Jul 09 |  Counties
ECB reveals new Twenty20 leagues
29 Apr 09 |  Cricket
New-look English Twenty20 agreed
16 Jul 08 |  Counties
Middlesex win thrilling Cup final
26 Jul 08 |  Counties


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