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The Future of County Cricket
And now Middlesex come out against....
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(12-04-2017, 03:40 PM)Mad Brummie Wrote: Just edited the post Malc.

There is an argument surely for expanding the county game rather than shrinking it. Taking the game to holiday hotspots in the summer (Scarborough Festival is one reason why Yorkshire get such big crowds) or the idea of a combined Devon-Cornwall side playing and Norfolk-Suffolk-Cambridge side plus Ireland being admitted to bring the number of sides up to 21. Then go to three divisions of 7 sides which would mean a 12 match championship but to compensate for this there could be a regional 3-day competition played during the T20 window so for example, Warwickshire would compete in a 3-day competition with Worcestershire, Northants and a couple of minor county sides - say Staffordshire and Herefordshire. Two home matches (played at Stratford-upon-Avon and the M&B ground) and two away round robin with the top side playing the East Midlands winner in a Midlands County Final. Include these fixtures as part of the membership package - it would keep the red ball specialist players in action during the T20 window, keep members reasonably happy (a return to 8 competitive first class home fixtures per season) although there is the issue of quality with effectively a Warwicks 2nds side playing Herefordshire, but the main thing is to spread the County game rather than (as the ECB seem to desire) shrink it

Excellent post - positive.... it has ideas.

You are correct... there is so much that could be done... but the counties have done sod all over the last 50 years. We have three counties within a few miles of each other along the M1 who are constant under achievers and will stagnate in division 2.... yet large parts of the country are devoid of first class cricket... and without a sky subscription some in the sate system in a county as large as say Norfolk or Devon and Cornwall may even ask what is cricket.

So without positive change like you have described, T20 is the future.... sadly I see little future for an 18 county full time professional red ball game by 2030.

Statistics show a slight increase in some championship matches - perhaps this is some of the early 2000's T20 cohort coming through as spectators? However, to be honest would many watchers of T20 go to a four day game? T20 fits in with their lifestyle.

Even Surrey know T20 is the future .... they fill their grounds on the back of it. Their worry is loosing what they already have with T20. Middlesex get over 20,000 for some of their games too. For some clubs, thanks to T20 and Sky we are in the golden age of the game.... for some others it is grim.

To be honest, I don't know what the solution is..... how do you get the balance between the nasty realities of commercial viability and 18 county red ball cricket? Its a big challenge IMHO....
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There has to be a certain amount of irony in the new T20 competition, which is all about money, now being opposed by Surrey and Middlesex on the grounds that they don't get enough money out of it. Wouldn't it be nice if just one of the 41 entities with a vote opposed it on the grounds that it's a really bad idea.
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Wouldn't matter if all41voted against, the ecb won't back down I see they turned down Notts'request for Broad to play tomorrow, bet they would let him go to the corrupt ipl though!!
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(13-04-2017, 07:09 PM)GrizzlyBear Wrote: There has to be a certain amount of irony in the new T20 competition, which is all about money, now being opposed by Surrey and Middlesex on the grounds that they don't get enough money out of it. Wouldn't it be nice if just one of the 41 entities with a vote opposed it on the grounds that it's a really bad idea.

But it is an excellent idea.... T20 is the future..... professional cricket is not sustainable without an audience and money. It supports the red ball game.

Surrey's would be happy if they could play as Surrey in the new competition. Any objection from them is all about money and nothing else.

Bad ideas have been international cricket bidding wars, bringing back 50 over domestic cricket..... and not sorting out the structure of the first class game for the future..... the triumvirate of red ball failure at Derbys, Leics and Northants continue untouched but new horizons are ignored and not nurtured much to the peril of the game. Amalgamations and development ignored.... The cozy complacency of the game has been dangerous over the last decade.
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Oh, come on George, don't sit on the fence.  Tell us what you really think!
http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/s...92208.html
Keep up-to-date with County Cricket at http://deepextracover.com/
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(14-04-2017, 08:52 PM)Terry Wrote: Oh, come on George, don't sit on the fence.  Tell us what you really think!
http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/s...92208.html

I had my issues with GD in the past over his support for Povey.

However his superb advocacy for the CC is something we should be grateful for at a time when a majority of his media colleagues seem happy to accept whatever the ECB's policy is on any given day.

His dissection of the Bears' performance yesterday is also pretty much spot on.
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Once again an excellent article. I have to say I have yet to read a report from GD with which I have disagreed even over his support for Povey
LE - aka John
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1.1 million listened to the BBC radio coverage.... excellent.... but where is the revenue for the game in that. I fear that a lot of the listeners live in counties like Cornwall, Norfolk etc. who have been neglected by the game whilst the annual triumvirate of failure continues.... four counties within a few miles of each other... three who just compete for the wooden spoon. Those days of allowing constant failure ended in most sports years ago...

The game needs a shake up as a whole..... it needs to be visible across the country for starters with the best players on the pitch as often as possible.
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The Talksport Podcast this week is well worth a listen;

http://talksport.com/cricket/cricket-wee...0416235602
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(16-04-2017, 08:30 PM)Mad Brummie Wrote: The Talksport Podcast this week is well worth a listen;

http://talksport.com/cricket/cricket-wee...0416235602

I sometimes worry that I'm just a crusty old git that has failed to move with the times so to hear George say pretty much the same as me about the ECB's approach to the County Championship is reassuring. Not that it will make any difference. As he says, the ECB don't give a toss for what cricket supporters think.
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.... it will make no difference.... and change is needed.
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WB you keep banging on about change being needed as if just changing things will be the cure-all fix. The change has to be an improvement on what is already in place. I for one cannot see how what is being imposed by ECB will be an improvement.

Changes have been made over the years in Rugby and Football but the game is still played in it's original format. Rugby Sevens is treated as a completely separate game and does not compete for time and space with the 15 man team. The way the ECB is heading the CC will soon be scrapped and we will end up with wall to wall T20 - heaven forbid!
LE - aka John
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(18-04-2017, 09:44 AM)Leicester Exile Wrote: WB you keep banging on about change being needed as if just changing things will be the cure-all fix. The change has to be an improvement on what is already in place. I for one cannot see how what is being imposed by ECB will be an improvement.

Changes have been made over the years in Rugby and Football but the game is still played in it's original format. Rugby Sevens is treated as a completely separate game and does not compete for time and space with the 15 man team. The way the ECB is heading the CC will soon be scrapped and we will end up with wall to wall T20 - heaven forbid!

Given the ECB's track record in managing the domestic game since it's inception in 1997 I wouldn't trust them to run a whelk stall.

Yet WB - with his baseball cap on backwards, dad-dancing at the back of the Hollies stand to the Ed Sheeran tracks pumping on his iPhone - seems to think that their latest hare-brained scheme is going to transform the county game into some kind of perpetual T20 All-Star moneyfest.

8 rootless franchises doubling up the amount of T20, with no England players on show and 3 "marquee" international signings dredged up from the global T20 merry-go-round really sets the heart pulsing don't it?

Reality check - the Australian BBL cited as the glowing example to which we all should aspire has yet to turn a profit despite all all the noise and heat it generates.

The ECB - or should I say Graves and Harrison - have used some very dubious market research, plucked some figures out of the air and then asked the 18 counties to take in their words: "a leap of faith".  Even they have admitted that the new competition will lose upwards of £15m in the first year.

Not only could this fundamentally wreck the existing structure - pushing "unfashionable" cricket to the margins, it has the very real chance of going t**s-up and taking down a few of the bigger clubs as well as the minnows that people like WB spend all their time disparaging.

Indeed, our own club could ill-afford an ECB financial meltdown 5 years down the road - we'd certainly then find ourselves in a worse position than Durham, Hants or Glamorgan.

The game - and I say this as a 25 year subscriber - needs to get off it's Sky habit and go back onto FTA. Every county should be funded to provide live-streaming of championship matches. And - sorry to repeat this - but put the bulk of cricket on when people can get to watch it - weekends, evenings and school holidays.

It's the cannibalisation of this audience since the mid-90s that has caused the problems we have today.
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DC you have just hit so many nails on the head. Just wish those in charge of the game could read it and take note
LE - aka John
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Excellent posts guys, sadly the ecb think like wb & proper cricket played over a long period, as it should be, is not required, sadly county cricket will cease to exist & my fear is it's happening quicker than I would have hoped
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Many wouldnt even want structural change to the four ball game.. Football or Rugby wouldnt, for example, allow the triumvirate of failure to continue at Leics, Nortants and Derbys. It would chop out the dead wood and allow new entities to get into the game bringing a new support and player base. What is currently the point of division 2 .... I'd amalgamate a couple of counties, create a couple of new first class ones and have three divisions with two up two down. I'd get rid of 50 over domestic cricket and just play championship and T20 cricket. I may even introduce a straight T20 knock out cup with all the minor counties.... basically I would make changes... the game needs it.
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The idea of merging two counties together is simply ludicrous. So Leics and Northants merge - where do they play - Market Harborough? If they play at either existing ground then the other county simply disappears. Is someone in Loughborough going to support a team that plays in Northampton? The problem with creating new first class counties is could they sustain the expense of full time professionals.
I agree with you regarding competitions. The season is too short to accommodate 3 or even 4. A full 16 match county championship played throughout the season along with T20 played also throughout the season.
A T20 knockout cup could, possibly be added with, as you say, including minor counties. That would create 2 Finals Days.
LE - aka John
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(20-04-2017, 07:38 AM)Warleybear Wrote: Many wouldnt even want structural change to the four ball game.. Football or Rugby wouldnt, for example, allow the triumvirate of failure to continue at Leics, Nortants and Derbys. It would chop out the dead wood and allow new entities to get into the game bringing a new support and player base. What is currently the point of  division 2 .... I'd amalgamate  a couple of counties, create a couple of new first class ones and have three divisions with two up two down. I'd get rid of 50 over domestic cricket and just play championship and T20 cricket. I may even introduce a straight T20 knock out cup with all the minor counties.... basically I would make changes... the game needs it.

Not sure if it's been said before...but I'd take your 3 leagues a step further. I wouldn't have relegation promotion, I'd go for the top 3 teams in each league to play off to decide the overall champion. I'd have a draw at the start of each season to decide which counties are in each group.
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The Championship is a mess.
I think I am right in saying that in Div 2 the sides don't play every other team twice. This makes a mockery of the final table. And the subsequent promotion.
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