Round up: ECB offered 'deal' on Champions League place for Middlesex

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The Independent Online

England must decide whether to accept an offer of one place in this October's new Twenty20 Champions League after being outvoted in the dispute over whether teams who have used players with links to the rebel Indian Cricket League should be allowed to take part.

India want such teams banned and gained the support yesterday of the Australian and South African boards in rejecting the England and Wales Cricket Board's move for an amnesty for ICL players, which would have allowed Kent – runners-up in last weekend's English Twenty20 Cup final – to participate.

The ECB would make no comment last night but it is understood that a deal is on the table in which Cup winners Middlesex – who have no ICL players – are invited to this year's competition, with the invitation extended to both finalists next year.

However, the ECB is also unhappy about voting rights and cash distribution within the four partner boards. A response is expected by Monday at the latest – when the ECB board meets.

In the County Championship yesterday Derbyshire's bowlers were again made to suffer at the hands of Northamptonshire's former South Africa Test star Lance Klusener in their Second Division match. The 36-year-old all-rounder was dropped twice early in his innings and took full advantage by scoring a century to put his side in a strong position after day one at Chesterfield.

Klusener had made half-centuries in his two previous Championship innings against Derbyshire and with Riki Wessels making 79, Northants cruised to 382 for 6 to underline the quality of the pitch and the speed of the Queen's Park outfield.

It all added up to a long hot day for Derbyshire who sprang a surprise before the start when captain Rikki Clarke was left out for the second consecutive Championship match.

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