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English county cricket shake up looms

Home cricket in England may see a serious shake-up if county sides vote by proposals that will create a six-team high division and scale back the quantity of video games performed throughout codecs.

Former England Check captain Andrew Strauss spent the final six months overseeing a excessive efficiency evaluate for the England and Wales Cricket Board, launched within the aftermath of the 4-Zero loss in Australia within the Ashes.

The evaluate offered 17 suggestions, 15 of which fall underneath the remit of the ECB and have already got the required backing. Two key proposals contain a wholesale reorganisation of the county calendar and wish the assist of no less than 12 of the 18 first-class counties to go forward.

Strauss’ panel advocates a discount from 14 matches per workforce within the County Championship to 10, with a six-team high division sitting above two secondary conferences who would play off for one annual promotion.

Video games could be performed extra evenly all through the season on this four-day format, moderately than the present mannequin that sees matches crammed into the beginning and the tip of the marketing campaign — both facet of the brand new Hundred event.

The Blast, a Twenty20 event and a well-liked money cow for a number of counties, would even be pared again from 14 group video games to 10, with the 50-over Royal London Cup moved to April as a curtain-raising knockout event.

The general discount in days is meant to create time for extra relaxation, teaching and evaluation, creating extra intense competitors.

Whereas that’s more likely to go down effectively with a big proportions of gamers, a lot of whom have discovered the 2022 mannequin an unsatisfactory mish-mash of competitions and codecs, there’s a clear monetary implication at stake.

Fewer matches will imply much less income, not solely on the gate but in addition among the many membership, who will successfully see much less cricket for his or her cash.

Strauss, whose mission assertion is to make England the perfect cross-format workforce on the earth inside 5 years, mentioned he believes the “establishment just isn’t an choice.”

“Everybody within the sport is telling us this. We’ve listened, we should now act,” Strauss mentioned.

“I actually really feel this set of proposals could make a large distinction to the sport. After all, something in our home construction could be very contentious and it is for the sport to go away, speak and debate.

“We are able to nonetheless do quite a lot of good with out the ultimate two suggestions, however I believe they seem to be a good demonstration of the exhausting selections we have to make as a sport, and the way critical we’re in making an attempt to realize this ambition.”

Strauss mentioned he needs to have a “coherent schedule.”

“The reply to high quality just isn’t amount. A better customary, extra intense red-ball competitors must be an amazing factor for members, for gamers, for floor workers, for coaches. We have to perceive it is not all about quantity,” he mentioned.

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