The clubs, including Yorkshire and Durham, are saddled with millions of pounds of debts. One option under consideration is to form a new league for the short form of cricket known as Twenty20.

A breakaway league would need to be approved by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the national governing body of cricket. Executives examining the idea would seek the right to negotiate their own television deals.

For more than a century, the grounds of some of the country’s cricket clubs have hosted some of the most memorable and gripping matches.

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