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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 13:35 GMT 14:35 UK
Vaughan supports ECB initiative
Vaughan is keen that England's progress should be maintained
Vaughan is keen that England's progress should be maintained

England captain Michael Vaughan has backed a move to encourage counties to produce homegrown talent.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is to offer financial incentives in a bid to cut the number of foreign imports.

But Vaughan said: "I think it's important to say that there are overseas players out there who do a good job for our game.

"Darren Lehmann and Michael Bevan at Yorkshire brought on my game a hell of a lot."

He continued: "I think a number of overseas players we have over here are very good and a number of the Kolpak players are very good and really do raise the standard of county cricket - it's the minority who come here for a two or three-week period just to fill in that I don't agree with.

"I was consulted on a number of issues and all I asked for was a bigger pool of players to pick from to play for England. But we don't want to pick from mediocre players.

"There are a lot of issues with Kolpak and overseas players, but if you're good enough and work hard enough, you should be able to get into our county teams - if you do that, you have a chance of playing for England."

The ECB's new four-year strategy covers the whole of the domestic game from schools up to Test cricket.

And Vaughan is fully behind a move to create a 25-man development squad from which England teams will be selected.

"For [coach] Duncan [Fletcher] to have control of 25 players will certainly give value because he can pull a guy out of a game if need be for specialist coaching sessions or give a guy a bit of a rest.

There are a lot of people talking about cricket now
Michael Vaughan

"It's also something for the players to strive for because if you can get into the 25, it means you are close to an international position," he said.

Vaughan believes England are on course to be the world's best team within four years.

"I thought we were a long way off a couple of years ago, but when you see someone like Andrew Strauss coming into the side and doing so well, so fast, who's to say there aren't a couple of other players in county cricket who can't come in and do as well as he has?"

Another target of the new ECB strategy is to increase public recognition of England stars.

The ECB wants at least three 'superstars' whom 10% of the population are able to identify.

Vaughan said: "I would be amazed if a few of our players are not a bit more recognisable than when the figures were last produced [which showed only 7% could identify three players.]

"The crucial facts of the last year or so are that England has had a number of heroes for the kids to look up to. There are a lot of people talking about cricket now."

England return to action next month with a home series against Bangladesh.

They will be looking to build on their success in 2004 when they beat West Indies the Caribbean, defeated the same opponents and New Zealand on home soil and then won a Test series in South Africa.

After Bangladesh comes the toughest test of all, however, when England attempt to win the Ashes back from Australia for the first time since 1987.

Interview: England captain Michael Vaughan

Interview: ECB chief executive David Collier

ECB reveals county one-day revamp
23 Dec 04 |  Counties
New ECB chief's challenges
13 Oct 04 |  Cricket


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