The number of non-qualified players in county cricket looks sure to diminish.
The Institute for Professional Sport (IPS), a lobbying group which represents all the major sporting authorities in this country, has won an important concession from the UK government.
Accepting that some sports - particularly ice hockey - were being flooded by foreign players, the government has agreed to amend the criteria by which athletes work in the UK.
From 2006, foreign players will begin to find it much harder to gain a work permit, with all non-England qualified players likely to have to prove that they are offering a skill that cannot be found in the UK.
Meanwhile, Test match cricket in England will be sponsored by npower until 2007 following a newly-agreed two-year extension to the current deal.
The £7 million deal includes a marketing fund of £300,000 per year, aimed at giving greater access to the sport, particularly at grass roots level.
That move comes hot on the heels of the England and Wales Cricket Board's renegotiation of television rights to a satellite platform from next summer onwards.
England's success on the field over the past 18 months, however, encouraged npower to extend their relationship, which began in 2001, ahead of this summer's hotly-anticipated Ashes campaign.