Gloucestershire: Muttiah Muralidaran, Sri Lanka's record-breaking spin bowler, has dismissed England's Twenty20 format as "old fashioned" and called for it to adopt the franchise format favoured by the IPL.
Murali is about to begin his second season with Gloucestershire in Friends Life t20 and as the competition begins he has risked a storm by suggesting that they should merge with their fiercest rivals Somerset.
"That would be good as they are close counties and they would benefit financially," he said. The ECB insists that the 18-county system is sacrosanct yet England players play little, if any, domestic T20 cricket because of an international programme that dominates the entire summer. England's T20 tournament was an innovative product when it launched in 2003, but Murali argued that it has now fallen behind rival tournaments around the world.