ECB Premier Leagues

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The ECB Premier Leagues are a series of regional cricket leagues organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that form the top tier of club cricket in England and Wales. The ECB published "Raising the Standard" in 1997, the ECB Management Board Blueprint for the Future Playing Structure of cricket. This introduced the concept of ECB Premier Leagues, designed to raise the playing standard of the top tier of club cricket and to bridge the gap between recreational cricket and the First Class game. A national network of Premier Leagues was established, with funding from the ECB. The Leagues have to meet the published ECB assessment criteria and they receive accreditation on an annual basis.

Cricket Team sport played with bats and balls

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of which is a 20-metre (22-yard) pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, and by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground. When ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches. They communicate with two off-field scorers who record the match's statistical information.

England and Wales Cricket Board

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of cricket in England and Wales. It was created on 1 January 1997 combining the roles of the Test and County Cricket Board, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council. Like many sports-governing bodies in the United Kingdom it is a company limited by guarantee, a legal status which enables it to concentrate on maximising its funding of the sport rather than making a return for investors. The ECB's head offices are at Lord's in London. Although the organisation is the England and Wales Cricket Board, it is referred to as the ECB not the EWCB as a result of a decision taken in the run-up to the launch of ECB in January 1997 by those from within the game given the task of overseeing the transition from the previous bodies from which ECB was formed.

Club cricket

Club cricket is a mainly amateur, but still formal, form of the sport of cricket, usually involving teams playing in competitions at weekends or in the evening. There is a great deal of variation in game format although the Laws of Cricket are always observed. The main nations that club cricket is played in include Pakistan, England, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong and in some of the major cities in India. Club cricket is played virtually all over the world. Club cricket is also now played in the United States and Canada, as both countries have large communities of immigrants from mainstream cricket-playing regions such as the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

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Premier Leagues are expected to establish links to other leagues in order to allow ambitious clubs to aspire to Premier League status over time. Many were based on existing leagues although some new Regional Premier Leagues were created. The ECB decided that overseas players are allowed to play in this top tier of club cricket provided that there is only one overseas player in any Premier League club team, which mirrors the arrangements for overseas players in the club cricket structures in countries such as Australia and South Africa.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

The Premier League clubs must show a strong commitment to junior cricket and the assessment criteria explicitly require strong junior sections that can provide cricket coaching and matches for the next generation of cricketers. There is also an increased emphasis on practice and the development of skills for the adult players in Premier League clubs.

ECB Premier Leagues

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