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County players have asked the ECB to clarify a solution to the overcrowded domestic schedule, calling for a reduction in both one-day and four-day cricket for when the game is restructured in 2011.

Angus Porter, the chief executive of the PCA, said that indecision over how the game will be arranged next summer has left players unsure of what they are competing for this season. "Announcing something like, say, a three-division Championship when this season is materially completed would be unacceptable," Porter told The Times. "If the players are saying anything to us, it is get the decisions made early."

The ECB are considering a number of options to reduce the number of Championship matches, with chief executive David Collier denying that it is already tied to adopting a conference system. Porter, echoing the sentiments of England captain Andrew Strauss, said that whatever the new format, the focus has to be a reduction on fixtures in both four-day and limited-overs cricket.

"If we are looking at the schedule, then we should look at all of it," he said. "I do not think the players would necessarily go with the Championship as the only place to reduce. They also want a closer look at 40-over cricket and I think they are nervous that we might be overdoing Twenty20. They are aware of the commercial angle and love playing it, but they are just worried."

While the ECB believes that expanding Twenty20 - and there will be 151 matches in total from June 1 to August 18 this year - will generate the revenue to persuade counties to reduce the number of Championship games, the PCA is worried that overexposure could threaten crowd numbers.

"Some counties have three Twenty20 games in five days, commonly there are two in three days. The whole business assumes grounds will be sold out, and we are genuinely concerned whether that is true," said Porter.

The other issue the PCA were keen to discuss was the prospects about the Twenty20 Champions League. The lucrative tournament, with a prize pool of almost £4 million, clashes with the final weeks of the English domestic season and Porter suggests counties who qualify for the Champions League may field weaker sides for the climax to the English season.

"From informal talks I have had the attitude is split, from one or two county chief executives saying they are going to the Champions League if they qualify no matter what, to others who say that would be appalling and that we must respect our domestic competitions."

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