London, July 17 : The English Premier League will feature the world's best cricketers and a dash of showbiz glamour.
The new EPL, which begins in June 2010, will be played between the 18 first-class counties and two invited teams from overseas.
Counties will receive an unprecedented influx of cash from Asian TV money and some also hope to be backed by companies or rich benefactors, The Sun reported.
It will allow them to hire up to four overseas players for a month with stars such as Ricky Ponting, Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni on their shopping list.
ECB chairman Giles Clarke insisted: "We anticipate the best players in the world will be here. The Indian Premier League was a great success and is uniquely Indian with remarkable Bollywood flair. This will have remarkable English flair."
Plans drawn up by the MCC and three major counties for a tournament involving nine city-based franchises have been dumped.
Instead, the 18 counties will all take part in the two- divisional format of the EPL and they were celebrating their victory last night. Some feared they might go bust if they were squeezed out.
Clarke added: "I've been saying all along that the EPL would include all the counties. Our research shows that spectators want the 18 counties and the broadcasters said they would pay the most money for that. There has already been enormous interest from around the world."
The two foreign teams are yet to be decided and are likely to change each year.
Story first published: Thursday, July 17, 2008, 13:05 [IST]
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