Essex coach Paul Grayson backs calls for 50-over games

James Foster
Captain James Foster failed to lead Essex out of last season's CB40 pool stage

Essex coach Paul Grayson has added his voice to the calls for a return of 50-over cricket to the domestic game.

England and Wales Cricket Board chairman .

And Grayson told BBC Essex: "I think all county cricket should mirror international cricket.

"I like the 40-over format. But I think the sooner we go back to 50-over cricket the better."

Grayson also believes Essex supporters will be disappointed by the reduction in the number of Twenty20 games next season.

"The Chelmsford public love the Twenty20 cricket here," he explained.

"The reduction in games will hit us financially but we have been compensated by the ECB for a couple of years."

Meanwhile, Grayson has resigned himself to the fact that he may be without four players for the start of the season.

Ryan ten Doeschate, Owais Shah and Ravi Bopara could be playing in the Indian Premier league, while Alastair Cook will be on England duty.

"Who am I to say to the lads 'don't go and play in the IPL'," said Grayson. "The riches are there. The rewards are there.

"We have to be fair to the players, if they want to put themselves in the auction then we have to sit down with them and talk about it."

Grayson indicated that the club may only bring in one overseas signing next season, despite the major role played by New Zealanders Scott Styris and Tim Southee in 2011.

"It depends on budgets. We are looking at the balance of our squad." he added.

"I'd be surprised if all counties have two overseas players next year due to finances. If we bring someone in then they will have to be better than what we have already got."

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