Steven Finn backs English 'Big Bash' Twenty20 league

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Finn welcomes franchise cricket plan

A Big Bash-style franchise Twenty20 league would be a "great step in the right direction" for English cricket, says England fast bowler Steven Finn.

Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves wants an English Premier League to boost crowds.

Finn, 25, said a move to franchise cricket was long overdue.

"I think that for a while now we've been a bit behind the times when it's come to T20 cricket," he told BBC Sport.

Graves wants to replicate the success of the Big Bash in Australia and the Indian Premier League.

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The average IPL attendance in 2014 was more than 23,000, while the Big Bash drew average crowds of 18,800. In contrast, England's T20 Blast averaged just 5,700 last year.

"English cricket is at a crossroads and needs to change," Graves, who takes up his post in May, told BBC Sport.

"We can't ignore [the IPL and Big Bash]. It's been successful in India and Australia, so why shouldn't it be successful over here?"

A new T20 league in England could see counties merging to form eight to 10 city-based franchises and a drive to attract more of the world's best players.

The move has been backed by former England captains Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen, and Finn is equally excited by the prospect.

"It's a move that would be very welcome and I'd be very open to being involved," said the Middlesex bowler, who is part of England's squad at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

"You want to play against the best players. You want to play in front of big crowds and put yourself under pressure in those situations. The only way our cricket is going to develop is by doing that and franchise cricket is probably the best way to do that.

"I think it would been a great step in the right direction for us if it did happen."

Finn also urged the International Cricket Council to rethink plans to cut the number of teams at the 2019 World Cup in England from 14 to 10.

He said having associate members like Ireland and Afghanistan competing alongside full members such as Australia and India makes the World Cup a more exciting competition.

"It would be a great shame if those guys missed out on a World Cup because that is part of the magic," he said.

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