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Category Archives: County Championship structure changes

Marcus must be beginning to think what does he need to do to beat us.  Even a big century from him this time was not enough.  Durham once again pulled off another great escape, with his team no doubt feeling slightly robbed yet again.  This happened at the same venue last year, that time denying Somerset the Championship title.

Nick Compton must feel a little like that too.  He scored his personal best of 254 not out in this match.

Nick’s last personal best was in 2006, when he played against us for Middlesex at Lord’s.  Again a match that ended in a draw.

And so the great escape again, again with no rain!  And on Friday the 13th too!

Rack up as many big centuries as you like against us….but you need to take 20 wickets to win!

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With just the 5 wickets in the first innings and 6 in the second, Andre has just put in the first big wicket haul of the season for Nottingham.  He helped blow away Hampshire at Trent Bridge within three days.

Of 7 Championship matches, only Yorkshire v Durham and Glamorgan v Gloucestershire are still in play.  Wickets have been the order of the day.

Championship cricket boring?

An emotional day in a lot of ways.  Not only was Graham Onions back on the competitive field for the first time in 14 months.  He took 5 for 53, nice, as he seems to have come back where he left off; taking plenty of wickets.

But it also saw our whole attack looking like the attack of old, the attack of Championship winning form.  Demolishing Yorkshire for 149 in 60 overs.  After us not getting any bowling points in this fixture this time last year it was just the best to see the attack back to how we know it can be.  I wish had been there.

That’s a Century of continuous County Championship matches!  Phil has missed his first four day match since becoming a first team regular in 2005.  In these days of Player burnout and injuries, 99 matches on the trot is quite something!  Well done Colonel!

He is out of the Yorkshire match with an inflamed toe, so we hope Cap’n Mustard will be back for the next match.

So sense prevailed.  No one saw any advantages in a reduced program of first class cricket, preferring the more obvious trimming back of limited overs matches, which have proliferated recently.

Championship division one stays as a 9 team concern and the Championship stays as the fantastic 16 match per season event that we know and love.

Would have been mad, having just produced an away Ashes winning England team, also presumably Counties would have risked a lower income from reduced memberships which include Championship matches but not T20.

The ECB have listened…. I’m nervous – this is a new thing, surely that can’t last can it?

But while they are at it….. Summer [and weekend] Championship cricket …..Please?????

Came across this a while back…the ‘ECB fuckup’ early warning system, you know it makes sense!

For a jolly good blog on all things Yorkshire CCC, you can’t do much better than take a look at Yorkshire Lens excellent Last of the Summer Whine, where this and similar good things live.  In the meantime the current clash between Yorks and us unfolds .

While I have been away it seems people are being mean to Giles  Clark.  Accused of vandalism of the County Championship now.  And Gilesywilesy was reported as visibly shaken.  Diddums!  I’d also like to see him banned from corporate boxes and sat outside all day at a venue such as the glorious Riverside early next season!

The Season; it used to start just before May!

The blog the Corridor has also noted this

” Last year it started on April 15; in 2008, it was the 16th. 2007? The 18th. The first Championship matches of the new millenium began on April 26″.

What is the point for this seasonal creep stupidity.  They actively want people to turn up and freeze, that is if the weather or bad light does not intervene.  They want cold players risk more injury?

I know Airlines are starting to sponsor Counties, but the carbon footprint does need to be addressed.

Start scheduling championship matches back into the summer – there is that talk about playing the first few out of the country now because someone has just noticed that early April is not a time when you should be playing cricket…..Abu Dhabi and Barbados, are not British or local?

Actually the weather is set for fair, so hopefully it will be a nice weekend [and that is rare]!

For a spot of what team is who you could look at Dan’s cricket blog. He has quite an extensive resume of the teams for this season.

The standard of current four day championship cricket in Division one is very high.  The above was an exciting match from an exciting and tense 2008 season.  But Mr Collier is on the record as saying ” the cost of a new-look County Championship will be the loss of some of the integrity of the two-division structure.” So change, but not progress; worrying.

Angus Porter of the Professional Cricketer’s Association has called for clarity and early decisions from the ECB as to what it’s proposals are for the Championship, and reduction of matches not only in the Championship but also other forms of domestic county cricket.

“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″…..

“We must make sure we structure the schedule correctly in 2011 and beyond to fit in the right amount of cricket and move from quantity to quality.”

The players want a reduction in total playing days, and for that reduction to be honoured and not turned into some other add on to a different competition.  Some rational, some sense.

The mismatch of the MCC v Durham clash, where the MCC side was drawn mainly from the second division should have been enough to kill off any idea that randomly drawn conferences would be useful to the further development of the game or player quality.

Change does not always make things better.  What are the ECB actually trying to achieve?

Cut down the number of matches? There are many ways of doing that, but not all of them will result in less, but more challenging games.

More meaningful challenging cricket?  So less matches and matches of an intensity that pits the best against the best.  Where players are ready, rested and at their peak to perform to the max.

So merit groups or a random groups?  The ECB has yet to come out about how they view either in terms of better quality cricket.

A conference of non merit groups [either totally random or regional]; more mismatched matches, less testing cricket for the best players, and those matches will be less of a spectacle for any spectators not turned off by the prospect.

MCC v Durham type standard  is what you would get more of, not less; so a greater proportion of dross, and less games.  Most matches would be dross.

So conference match reduction; the players get more time to rest, travel less, but waste that precious playing time, and that of any spectators.  People turning out for a ‘rare and supposed spectacle of a damp squib’ – I think not. [And in the cold of an April day,  give us a break….]

I have yet to find anyone who actively watches county cricket [rather than just writes about it] that is in favour of non merit groupings.

Ok we are talking Changes in first class cricket here.  Coming back from the Abu Dhabi match Will, Durham’s Captain has been thinking and deciding what might be good change and what might not.  As we know not all change makes things better.

Re the County Championship, at present he is not in favour of a three conference structure, he does not beleiver it “would work that well.’’   He does however seem impressed with the pink ball.

The ECB have also been thinking about change.  They tend to think of it in a more abstract way than most mortals.  And when Mr Collier is on the record as saying ” the cost of a new-look County Championship will be the loss of some of the integrity of the two-division structure.” you realise that betterment of the sport is not at the heart of any thought processes going on at ECB towers right now.