English players given two mn pound bonus to fight threat of Twenty20

London, June 9 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board has given a bonus of two million pound to Test cricketers in an attempt to check the cash-driven shift towards Twenty20 as cricket's predominant format.

The move follows the announcement of another massive jackpot for the shorter version of the game when the first Champions League takes place in October, with a 2.5million pound prize for the winning team.

The Twenty20 tournament will feature the top two sides from the Indian Premier League plus two each from the English, Australian and South African domestic competitions.

England's domestic Twenty20 Cup begins on Wednesday, with 42,000 pound as the first prize for the winners.

England captain Michael Vaughan has expressed disquiet about the effect the Twenty20 cash explosion might have on Test cricket, fearing that the change of emphasis might have a detrimental impact on the development of Test players.

But the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, Giles Clarke, said that Vaughan's concerns were already being addressed and that win bonuses available to his Test team were being increased from the current maximum of around 800,000 pound-a-year to two million pound with immediate effect.

"It is impossible to prevent the enormous commercial success of Twenty20, indeed we want to encourage it," Clarke said.

"But we need to ensure that if we have people who are pure Test specialists they are properly rewarded," The Independent quoted him, as saying. (ANI)

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