Cricket’s professional game in England and Wales today agreed an approach for a new eight-team T20 competition, to be staged in addition to the existing NatWest T20 Blast.

Agreement was reached at a meeting of the Chairmen and Chief Executives of the First Class Counties, MCC and the PCA in the latest stage of on-going discussions about the future structure of domestic cricket and how to drive interest and participation at all levels.

First Class Counties will carry out wider consultation on the proposal whilst the PCA will address its full membership, all with the support of ECB before discussion by the ECB Board.

The agreed approach is built on the game-wide strategy – Cricket Unleashed – and has been developed to broaden cricket’s appeal, provide greater financial stability for all 18 First Class Counties and ensure that each continues to compete in all three formats of the game.

Confirming the decision, ECB Chairman Colin Graves said: “We’ve all been looking at how we can use domestic T20 for an even bigger purpose, especially getting more young people to play.

“This format was invented here and is successful worldwide. It can excite new fans, attract the best players and fuel the future of the game, on and off the pitch.

“The need to grow interest and participation in the game we love is at the core of our thinking and this is a rigorous process.

“We’ve talked to each county individually about the need for change, a range of potential options and the implications.

“There’s a constructive dialogue with County Chairmen and Chief Executives, the MCC and PCA and now agreement to move forward and further develop this approach.”

“The next steps for us all, as a game, will be to extend the discussions and get valuable input from players, members and other key voices across the game.”

Details will continue to be developed in consultation with the First Class Counties, PCA, MCC and wider stakeholders in the game with the proposal to be formally considered by the ECB Board in October.