All very football

Whilst England’s summer is now over, the domestic leagues still have a few more matches left to play. In fact, play will continue as far as September 24th, with the new Pro40 playoff to decide whether there will be a third team relegated.

Interestingly, it seems that two of England’s names on the injury list may yet still get a last first-class game this season. Lacking the necessary match fitness to feature in the battle for a place in the last round of the County Championship, with Durham and Lancashire facing competitive matches, Duncan Fletcher has suggested that Liam Plunkett and Jimmy Anderson might well make use of the county loan system.

Not one of the most well known of contract loopholes, the idea was introduced by the ECB in the pre-season of 2005 to allow more England-qualified talent to emerge. Similar to the loan rules that govern football, domestic players may sign for a short period with another county, though they may be recalled at any time if guaranteed first team cricket by their own county. Fletcher hopes that the pair may be able to take the field for counties playing dead-rubber matches, possibly in an attempt to ready them for potential spots on the Ashes tour.

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