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Tag Archives: future of english county cricket

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?????

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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.

So no football teams then, as was suspected.  Modi finally got around to announcing the two new franchises for the IPL.  They will be based at  The southern city of Kochi and Pune near Mumbai.

Next season onwards the IPL will feature 10 teams – which means a total of 94 games, up from the current 60, in a home-and-away format.  There will be no escaping the IPL; it is going to be truly never ending!  Let’s hope climate change does not alter India’s monsoon season or it will be all year round soon.  But perhaps that is where the USA will come to the fore in Modi’s future cunning plans?

All pre auction hype you would hope.  What is a top football club in Modi speak, given that ITV 4 is a top rated TV channel?  Lalit was hinting that a top Premier League football club was interested in buying an IPL franchise.   Top – in position in the league,  top – in finance terms?  Mr Modi likes lots of money.  From the way he was speaking plenty took it to mean Premiership anyway.

But football clubs don’t buy anything.  They may have links with other clubs – I’m told Arsenal has links with Middlesex, but not financial ones.  So is this meant to be a British based city franchise?  The owners of a certain premiership club may be interested in adding an IPL franchise to their portfolio?  Or an investor based franchise?  Could it mean Manchester City’s Dubai, or Manchester United’s American owners are interested in a Dubai or US based franchises to cash in on expat interest and advertising marketing possibilities?

None of the above I should imagine.   Getting attention is what Modi is excellent at.  Even the MCC were in the running for a bit, could not resist the hype, want to be seen as ‘out there’, got a bit of press attention.

We will find out on March the 8th *2010.  This will probably be quite dull in comparison to the speculation.

Watching Durham warming up is much more interesting.

*Cricinfo puts it as Sunday