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What might turn out to be the future of Test cricket is taking shape with the news that Bangladesh and England are set to play a Day-Night Test– assuming that the ICC agrees.

The MCC’s World Cricket Committee is set to meet ICC representatives in November to discuss the idea, which could include the use of coloured balls and maybe even a change of clothing for the players.

With the longest form of the game seemingly under constant threat, ideas like this could be the way forward, but those involved will have to be careful that they don’t end up losing the ‘traditional’ elements of the Test format that make it such a unique spectacle. Ultimately, it will be the attitude that the ICC (and, realistically, the BCCI) takes to this development which will be crucial.

It’s also nice to see the MCC at the forefront of new developments, giving the lie to the organisation’s reputation for conservativism.

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“I knew I’d hit rock bottom when one night I rolled over in bed to give my wife Mel a kiss goodnight and all I saw was Freddie Bloody Flintoff”.

You can read the less salacious and homoerotic parts of Gilchrist’s Cowdrey Lecture for the MCC here, or listen here.

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England have delayed naming their Test squad for the series against the West Indies, because the selectors “need more time to assess players who are returning after injury”.

This gives the likes of Ian Bell and Michael Vaughan an extra nine days to impress, an effect which may not be entirely coincidental. The poor showing for the MCC by Vaughan, Bell and Rob Key means that there are few real candidates for the number three spot who are in any sort of form. Although Bell recently made 172 for Warwickshire, it is perhaps felt too soon to bring him back (even if he would clearly disagree). An extra week-and-a-bit may provide an opportunity for someone to play themselves into a ‘selectable’ position.

Another factor involved in the delay may be concerns over players picking up injuries in the IPL. Andrew Flintoff is reportedly already feeling the strain on his ankle after a mere 4 overs for the Chennai Super Kings, and it’s not difficult to imagine something happening to Collingwood or Pietersen in South Africa either (even if, in the latter’s case, the main injury threat may come from angry Saffer spectators).

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The start of the English County season is almost upon us, and the evidence arrived today with the naming of the MCC’s team to take on County Champions Durham in the traditional curtain-raiser. Most reports are highlighting the inclusion of former England captain Michael Vaughan in the side (alongside fellow England castaway Ian Bell), but it’s worth mentioning that the team will be captained by Rob Key, who hasn’t played Test cricket since January 2005.

Key’s continued absence from the main England side whilst simultaneously being viewed by the ECB as ‘reserve captain‘ (the ECB was involved in the selection of the MCC team, and Key has led the England Lions for some time) suggests that Vaughan is the most likely player in the team to play in this summer’s Ashes defeat series against Australia.

The MCC team in full is: Rob Key (c), Kabir Ali, Ian Bell, Steven Finn, James Foster, Sajid Mahmood, Stephen Moore, Adil Rashid, Michael Vaughan, Chris Woakes, Tom Westley

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After months of speculation, the structure of the new-look English (and Welsh) Twenty20 League has been unveiled. The ECB, which was not in favour of some of the more radical proposals, unanimously agreed on the plan, which will be implemented from 2010.

Pro 40 will be scrapped, as many hoped, to make way for two Twenty20 competitions, as far as I can make out after 11 hours at work.

Firstly, there is the EPL (clever name, eh?), which will have a two-division structure. Each division would feature 10 teams, meaning there will be two ‘open’ slots for overseas teams as well as the existing 18 counties.

In addition, there will be a separate Twenty20 League, exclusively for the counties. Matches will be played ‘primarily on Friday nights in July and August’, and the competition will feed into the Champions League. Precisely why this is needed in addition to the ‘EPL’ is not entirely clear.

If this is confusing, let Giles Clarke explain it for you.

This is pretty much what I expected, given the overwhelmingly negative response to the radical MCC-backed plan for IPL-style city-based franchises to replace the counties. Whether the new league(s) will live up to the hype, we will have to wait and see.

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A blueprint for the longrumoured English version of the IPL was made public yesterday, and the reaction has generally been negative (in many cases for obvious reasons), with ECB bigwig Giles Clarke (who has pronounced on this matter before) distancing himself from the plans.

The fact that the MCC is heavily involved with the proposal, however, means that things will get interesting from here on in. Further developments are awaited with interest.

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