Essex chief says moving IPL schedule 'makes sense'
Essex chief executive Derek Bowden has said he believes the Indian Premier League could be brought forward to free up players for county commitments.
This year's IPL started on 3 April and will run until 26 May.
Essex have lost Owais Shah and Ryan ten Doeschate to the IPL so far this term.
"In a conversation I had with the ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) I found there was a growing lobby on behalf of the English game to move the IPL schedule," Bowden told BBC Essex.
"So players could play IPL cricket and be back for the start of the season. That would make imminent sense."
Nottinghamshire banned their players from taking part in this season's IPL, with the prospect that Alex Hales, Michael Lumb and Samit Patel could all have been absent for the early weeks of the County Championship campaign.
Essex could have been without three batsman but, unlike team-mates Shah and Ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara was unable to find an IPL club.
The Chelmsford side are meanwhile concentrating on starting the
"I think we're a lot closer than we were three or four years ago," said Bowden.
"But until I've sat down with the developer and one or two other interested parties it's difficult to know. We could be very close to the first shovel going into the ground."