England all-rounder Ben Stokes in favour of domestic Twenty20 overhaul

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Ben Stokes believes the England dressing room is in favour of drastic changes to county cricket's Twenty20 competition.

The English system was an innovator when it introduced short-form cricket in 2003 but it has since been eclipsed by glitzier franchise-style competitions like the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash.

The availability of England players for those events is minimal at present - although there are moves afoot to change that - and attempts to introduce a streamlined city-based structure at the expense of the traditional 18-county model have frequently hit roadblocks.

But as Eoin Morgan's team prepare for the World Twenty20 in India, against rivals who regularly hone their skills in the pressure cookers of the IPL and BBL, the question of a revamp in the shires is again to the fore.

From 2017 the NatWest T20 Blast will once again be played in a mid-summer block, rather than spread across the season, but star all-rounder Stokes is clear in his preference for a broader overhaul.

"The English tournament isn't as strong as it is anywhere else in the world," said the Durham man, who enjoyed an eye-opening stint at Melbourne Renegades last year.

"It would be nice for that to change and I think we all want that to happen.

"I don't know when it will happen but I think it's something that does need to happen. It will give us (England) a chance to be more successful.

"Competitions like the IPL are what we all want to play in. But timing-wise, our season starts at a similar time to the IPL so it's tough to get out there. We've got to look at our schedule.

"The other competitions attract the biggest players so we don't get an opportunity to play against these guys whereas everywhere else over the world they do.

"Where does that put us in terms of this tournament (World Twenty20)? I don't think it matters massively but if we did manage to play in these kind of competitions it might help."

Stokes' sentiment was shared by fellow all-rounder David Willey.

The 26-year-old Yorkshire signing may be a relative newcomer to the international scene but has clocked up almost 100 T20 appearances with Northamptonshire and Perth Scorchers.

He starred in Northants' T20 triumph in 2013 but is firmly behind the hotly debated shift to franchises.

"Coming into this World Twenty20 having played a lot domestically is going to help me, I've played in various situations and in finals, but I believe maybe English cricket should have a franchise competition.

"That would improve the standard even more. The competition in the Big Bash was outstanding. The way the competition was run and the standard of cricket was fantastic.

"I think it's a real good model for English cricket to use."

England's preparations for the World Twenty20 begin in earnest on Saturday with a warm-up match against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium.

Uncapped spinner Liam Dawson will be hoping for a chance to impress in that game, having been handed a surprise call-up despite head coach Trevor Bayliss admitting he had only seen the 26-year-old bowl in the nets.

Early last season he was even sent on loan from Hampshire to Essex but finished the campaign strongly after returning to his parent club.

"I wouldn't have expected to be here now but I'm really excited," said Dawson.

"I've always known I could do it and the way I finished the season gave me a lot of confidence.

"I'm a three-dimensional cricketer: I bat, bowl and field well and that's what I can bring to the team.

"I've played lot of cricket for someone my age and I've played in finals days for Hampshire so I hope that stands me in good stead if I am to play.

"You're going to be nervous, obviously, because it could be my debut at some point but if I can do what I've been doing for Hampshire hopefully it will be all right."

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