Counties to play less T20 cricket under Andrew Strauss reforms


The recommendations – which have been approved by the ECB’s governing and executive boards – are planned to be put to the district presidents for a vote at the end of next month. Any vote would require the support of a two-thirds majority for the recommendations to pass.

It will almost certainly not be approved by all 18 counties because of fierce opposition from club members to the scrapping of four-day championship cricket, a backlash that could be fueled by a corresponding cut in Blast games.

As already revealed by Telegraph Sport, the review also suggested new home schedule this would mean that the one-day cup competition would be played in April, the Blast from May onwards, the Hundred in August, and the Championship mainly in June, July and September, the main summer months, instead of early April and the end of September as it is now.

“It’s impossible to please everyone”

Strauss warned the county earlier this month that England cricket faced with an exodus of talent unless reforms to the domestic game are enacted, amid fears that players could turn their backs on counties and earn money in foreign Twenty20 leagues to earn more money for playing fewer matches.

Unveiling the review’s final report, he said he was confident district chairmen would vote for the recommended overhaul, but admitted it was “impossible to make everyone completely happy”.

He added: “The game must be united if we are to achieve these ambitions and we must be open to change. The most consistent message we received from players to fans and coaches was that the status quo was not an option.

“I encourage people to consider our proposals as a package and welcome the opportunity to have an informed debate about the recommended changes to the male family structure.

“There are no easy answers about men’s domestic structure. The recommendations favored a more coordinated schedule that is more manageable for overworked players, coaches and ground staff, while delivering the quality and quantity of cricket that fans want to watch and that meets our high-performance goals.”

Richard Thompson, president of the ECB, said: “Decision-making on men’s domestic structure recommendations ultimately rests with the first-class districts. It is now right that they have time to digest these recommendations before consulting their members, staff and other stakeholders.

“We are aware of the challenges in many counties, particularly with the reduction of red-ball cricket. These concerns were taken into account and reflected in the recommendations. If there is a reduction in the volume of cricket for a reasonable and workable schedule along with seeing the best players more often, I think that is a good compromise, especially as it will improve England’s chances of success in the future.”

England in International Position

Figures recently released by the ECB show that England’s players play 79 days of domestic cricket, more than any other country, leaving them with less time to prepare and rest compared to other countries. It also leaves less time to prepare good presentations, making the step to the test stage more difficult.

The ECB data found that averages for England batsmen drop significantly in Test cricket compared to county cricket, while for India, Australia and South Africa the difference is comparatively small. Also, the averages for seamers are much higher in Test cricket as compared to county cricket because they are used to useful deliveries in the championship.

As revealed Telegraphcomprehensive review also suggests implementation of mobile ball tracking technology to help set pitch penalties to encourage bowlers and fast pace bowlers.

In a further attempt to improve transitions, the review is advocating a pilot trial of the Kookaburra ball in the county championship.

And the review suggests that districts are much better rewarded to produce English players, with first-class nations and the ECB feeling that player-producing teams could be better encouraged.



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