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County Championship 2015
Darren Stevens as well. He was a pretty good player.
Paul Nixon made it to a few ODI games I believe
LE - aka John
Was Vince Wells a Leicestershire player when he had his spell in the England one day side?
While Robert may be bad, Robert is not all Mugabe's.
There are GOOD Mugabe's
It is Warwickshire County Cricket Club!
When I started watching county cricket in the 70s . Leicestershire were one of the best teams. They won the county championship, two b& h's and two sunday leagues, whilst we won nowt during that period. I didn't see the 72 championship team.
Nick Cook & Jamie Whittaker
While Robert may be bad, Robert is not all Mugabe's.
There are GOOD Mugabe's
It is Warwickshire County Cricket Club!
If you look at every county championship in the modern era - since 2000 when the 2 division county championship was introduced and give 1 point to the county that comes first and 18 points to the county that comes last, you paint an interesting picture........ 

1. Lancashire            77pts
Warwickshire        81
3  Sussex                   84
4  Yorkshire              105
Nottinghamshire 109
Surrey                    115
Somerset               116
Durham                  118
Kent                        121

10 Hampshire            124
11  Middlesex            150
12  Worcestershire   166
13  Essex                     179
14 Northants              184
15 Leicestershire        201
16 Gloucestershire    208
17  Glamorgan            212
18  Derbyshire            218

7 counties have won a championship in those 15 seasons. Durham and Sussex 3 times each, Warwickshire, Surrey, Nottinghamshire, Yorks twice each and Lancashire once.

Leicestershire and Derbyshire have the most wooden spoons - 4 each.

The first 10 counties (to and including Hampshire) have a record far superior to the other counties across 15 seasons.

How many players were lost to England in the North East before Durham joined. Would new combined counties introduce new talent and widen the number of people watching the game? Would cream still rise to the top if one or two of the existing counties were combined?

All this is an interesting debate..... my views are my views..... but, IMHO, we will have to modify the structure of the championship and expand our first class homeland in some areas whilst tweaking it in others for the first class game to survive. A sort of regeneration rather than franchising.
I compliment you on your stats Warley. It makes interesting reading. I am all for expanding cricket to other areas, like Norfolk, Suffolk, Devon and Cornwall. Could we not have a promotion and relegation between the minor counties. Give them the opportunity to progress through the tables. It works in footy.
I'd like that.... and in an ideal world I would like to have a pyramid system in place that kept the existing 18 counties. The problem is that is difficult for minor counties (even combined ones) to make the step up. Durham struggled for the first decade. Resource and support has to be put in to develop them. My thesis is that to develop some of these exciting opportunities with new spectators and new talent, you need to tweak other areas to target the resources. My concern is that the likes of Northants, Leics and Derbys could be combined (they are close to each other and continually underperform). This will make them more competitive (which is good for them and the England set up) and allow more funding to go into these new areas.

Whether people agree or not is fine..... county members and supports of the game will have little say eventually.

I thought the analysis of two divisional cricket was interesting. What an outstanding performance from Warwickshire!
If you get your wish with these changes&as a regular watcher of county cricket I hope you don't, will you become less of a whinger&more of a watcher
Trouble with minor counties is the step up to full time would be prohibitive.

As it is they are able (with ECB funding) to secure the services of players for 6 rounds of 3 day matches in the summer months. The first round began yesterday and the students are still sitting exams in most cases. To go to 10, 12 or 14 matches would require far more ECB support than is available at present. Then there is the ground's they play at.

What is far more likely is that 6 counties will eventually (or forcibly be told to) relinquish first class status - the smaller ones - Derbys, Leics, Durham (except the ECB funding might keep them going), Gloucs, Kent, Northants. Minor Counties Cricket will no longer exist on a nationwide basis. You will end up with a County Championship of 12 full time super counties. Beneath this will be a couple of regional 3 day championship competitions playing between 8 & 10 rounds of matches, the most obvious one would be an Eastern Counties Championship with some of those counties perhaps being able to go on self sufficiently at least for a couple of seasons before one or the other conk out altogether

Leics, Northants, Kent, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Berkshire, Herts

A similar competition might spring up in the South West but might go for 2 day matches instead of 3

Northern minor counties would almost certainly cease to exist absent some form of ECB funding or you might get the odd one or two surviving piecemeal fashion and playing the odd friendly - Northumberland and Staffs.
A very good point Mad Brummie... the step up would be a big problem. Durham took a few years to get moving.... but when they did they really achieved.

Your point about the likely future of the game is NOT what we want, but is a likely scenario if no tweaks are made. When I put that table together, I was quite frightened by the picture it painted. A dozen counties that were competitive across 15 seasons and half a dozen that were way off the pace.

It is some 20 years ago that I regularly used to watch minor counties cricket... with no pyramid structure and in many cases (not all) an unwillingness / inability to progress, I start to ask myself as to what the point is? They are excluded from (and I have tried to keep this discussion to First class cricket) 50 over and T20.

This discussion is not about wish lists... it is about the state of the first class game and where it might go and where we want it to go. To protect we may not be able to keep everything? To progress we may not also be able to keep everything...... but also to keep the status quo, there may have to be difficult decisions. Hopefully not.... hopefully we can protect and move forward...... but I doubt sticking our heads in the sand will be the greatest of ideas for the survival of an 18 county professional system. Members saying 'problem, what problem' will lead to the ECB grabbing and running with the agenda. The ongoing discussions on quantity of games etc. is where I start to get worried. If you don't play each side twice (one home and away) then you are watering down the competition.

Hopefully people don't mind an open discussion on the future of the first class game.... if it upsets (and I can see where it might) then I apologies.
Yes Durham achieved and they have an international ground but in truth they are about as big as Derbyshire in terms of crowds they muster.

Last in first out I say so bye bye Durham and Glamorgan  Biggrin
I don't want it to become like football where you just get the clubs with test match grounds winning everything. In an ideal world we'd have the old Yorkshire system in place at every county. Too many ins and outs these days. How many of our current team have actually come through our academy. Westwood, Bell, Woakes, Javid? The way forward is to bring through your own and then have some control over that players registration, unlike whats happened at leicester who are now just a feeder club.
Building a sustainable, home produced side is one of the clubs published aims, and we are now developing players capable of playing first team cricket.

To your list I would add Hain*, McKay and Gordon.

*Technically correct as he was officially an academy player for a couple of seasons while he finished his education.
While Robert may be bad, Robert is not all Mugabe's.
There are GOOD Mugabe's
It is Warwickshire County Cricket Club!
Not strictly come through the different age groups but I accept your point.
Yes GM is correct. At the end of the season we are likely to top of the above table. Why.. because we are well run and have an excellent mix of new, established and international players. We have invested in our ground and our training and devlopment structures. If counties like Leics and Derbys could (through sharing) do the same, then perhaps their viability and competativesness would improve. This would be good for the first class game nationally and for the England setup.
Different counties have different priorities and resources, it's taken over ten years of investment of time, money and resources to give us the current development structure and squad of players.

Other counties are at different points in their development cycle, and due to their different resources, have different timescales.

Reducing the number of first class counties will NOT grow the game, fortunately most people have the intellectual capacity to understand that point!

By removing Leicestershire, as an example, from the championship reduces the availability to watch the sport, for the audience of that business. Nobody will drive to Northampton or Derby after work to watch cricket, for one thing they'd never get there in time. It would significantly increase the cost of watching the sport for people from the city and would remove the jobs of those employed by the club.

The answer is not reducing the number of counties and is is certainly not providing more 20 over slog cricket.
While Robert may be bad, Robert is not all Mugabe's.
There are GOOD Mugabe's
It is Warwickshire County Cricket Club!
There  has been a lot of discussion in the press etc. about the 4 day game.  etc. 

I have not said we should reduce the total number of counties. I have said that perhaps we need to review the structure and that perhaps some sides need to merge and some new ones introduced.

I have also said that I do not wish to see a decrease in the number of first class games.

Im also confused... this is a discussion about the 4 day game and not T20. Yes I like 4 day and T20 cricket....  but my thoughts in this thread are on the championship and not big city franchiseing etc.

I must say that im starting to get cheesed off by having my interllectual  capacity challenged when people dont like my thoughts / analysis. This was meant to be a positive analysis of the challanges the game faces. Of course people may have their own ideas and 'leave alone's may be of them. ... but on a forum, please dont shoot the messenger for engaging in the discussion..  even if its analysis isnt one you share.

If I have offended anyone with my considerations and analysis I appologise.
Football has ONE league competition and TWO cup competitions. One of the cup competitions involves EVERY football club in the country.

Surely cricket should look at doing something similar. T20 and 40/50 over competitons could be cup competitions with the T20 being available for every club to take part. For all the amateur clubs T20 can be played in the evenings or at weekends several clubs could come together for a knockout round.
LE - aka John
I would agree LE... whilst I have tried to only discuss 4 day cricket, I do belive that there could be a second T20 competition that involves smaller sides with straight knockout to include the counties at a later stage. Just a thought....

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