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All Out Cricket's Discussion Of The Week - Is it time for franchises in county cricket?

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Shelsey93
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Post by All Out Cricket Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 3:32

Today on www.alloutcricket.com, Dirk Nannes discusses the merits of introducing an IPL-style competition to the English calendar:

http://www.alloutcricket.com/blogs/comment/dirk-nannes-back-for-friends-life-t20

What do you think about the Friends Life t20? Is it time for a shake-up in the county structure?

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Post by hodge Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 4:00

The problem would be about how many franchises there are and where they are in my opinion. If say you have 8 franchises and you go by location you are likely to see:

London - Oval/Lords
Manchester - Old Trafford
Nottingham - Trent Bridge
Durham - Emarites
Bristol - Nevil Road
Southampton - Ageas
Birmingham - Edgbaston
Cardiff - Swalec

Now out of these only Nevil Road only doesn't regular international matches, so if you take away the current T20 format it will become a case that the current international grounds will make more money at the expense of the smaller grounds/counties such as Leicestershire, Worcestershire, Sussex and even Somerset due to being given the franchises.

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 4:01

Absolutely not.

There are many reasons, which I will probably write up into a coherent article at some point as it is something I feel strongly about, but:

1. The stated aim of the Twenty20 Cup when launched in 2003 was to revive interest, particularly amongst younger audiences, in county cricket. Franchise cricket would not be county cricket, and would not create any interest in the county competitions. In fact it would detract from them, as youngsters get brought up to support Manchester Mavericks and England rather than Lancashire and England.

2. A fair proportion of those who support the FL t20 do so as fans of a county they follow day in, day out in the Championship. Would a Gloucestershire member support some sort of Gloucester/Somerset franchise.

3. A franchise system relies on people spending big money to buy the franchises. I can't see that happening in England, where the rich and famous can spend their money on Premier League football teams if they want to. Domestic cricket is hardly an appealing way to spend your cash here. So where is the big money going to come from?

4. Those counties that have been successful in getting big audiences in for T20 - Somerset, Essex, Sussex, Worcestershire - wouldn't host many games. In this country T20 is at its best on a noisy night at Chelmsford, not in a third-full Lord's. A second T20 competition would be seen as inferior, and so would be poorly supported.

5. A second T20 competition would be over-kill for players, spectators and fans. We simply don't 'love' T20 like the Indians do.

6. Big name players already have plenty of commitments. Changing to a franchise cricket is unlikely to suddenly make AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga available for our T20.

7. With the current international schedule, and that covered in TV contracts until 2017, we have international cricket running through the middle of the summer. England players wouldn't be involved, and it wouldn't catch the media focus.

8. India (and Bangladesh and Australia) are huge countries, where people have massive loyalty to their cities. People simply wouldn't care that much that Birmingham were playing London.

9. A lot of our young (and more experienced) players would miss out, and thus miss out on crucial game development. More traditional players might never get a chance.

10. The best supported clubs are in small cities/large towns, and not in big cities. We risk taking cricket away from these people.

11. England are number one in the world in T20. Clearly what we do isn't that bad.

12. It risks driving some counties out of business. The likes of Derbyshire and Leicestershire are businesses and not sub-divisions of the board/ representative sides as the states are in India and Australia.

There are many other reasons too! Feel free to add to the list.

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 4:07

I would add that the current FL t20 is a bit of a damp squib. Not all grounds are full or even near full, the quality of cricket is often average to poor, and the national media aren't the slightest bit interested.

But I reiterate that T20 must (must!) be kept within the county system.

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Post by Mat Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 4:53

It's simply can't be taken away from the counties. For the smaller counties(and I hate to call them that) such as my team, Worcestershire, the T20's are the single biggest source of income, becoming a Franchise means we'd host fewer games, lose out on attracting younger supporters to the game and see a huge decrease in income.

It may seem fairly doom-mongerish but if you were to take the T20's away from the smaller counties, I could see County Cricket becoming merely those counties who have international standard grounds.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 18:20

Are you guys scared that if we dont jump on this T20 bandwagon sooner rather than later we could fall behind bigtime..

This country is a top sporting league country .IMO we have to start competing with the IPL soon. We need some of that action

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Post by ShankyCricket Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 18:33

Not at all a fan of frachisee cricket. The change that I'd like to see in County Cricket is more emphasis given to the national team. The counties must pick their sides in the best interests of the England team. Say for example, if England intend to have James Taylor as Strauss' replacement, then Notts must open with him. And players who are due to tour England with their national sides later in the season(ala Philander this year) should not be signed by the counties.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 18:39

shanky we cant just have our county system running for the benefit of our national side.. it has to have its own ambitions, and clubs within also

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Post by ShankyCricket Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 18:42

For me, the purpose of domestic competitions is to serve the national side. I really dont think it should have any independent status. But thats just me I guess as I dont support any county.

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 26 Jun 2012 - 18:53

shankythebiggestengfan wrote:Not at all a fan of frachisee cricket. The change that I'd like to see in County Cricket is more emphasis given to the national team. The counties must pick their sides in the best interests of the England team. Say for example, if England intend to have James Taylor as Strauss' replacement, then Notts must open with him. And players who are due to tour England with their national sides later in the season(ala Philander this year) should not be signed by the counties.

Disagree with that - if they are good enough, they'll get in the team, and be put in their best position. County cricket needs to be competitive, but I firmly believe that that happens and can be improved upon within the current system.

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 27 Jun 2012 - 0:00

My argument is well supported and expanded on in this article by Peter May on Cricket-365

http://www.cricket365.com/news/story/7842624/Franchises-system-not-a-silver-bullet

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Post by hodge Wed 27 Jun 2012 - 1:15

Ok so say Somerset were to merge with Gloucestershire, firstly where would they play? assuming there would be 9 pairs 4 home games each maybe? however what would they be called? would one county like the idea of being named something else so being called Bristol would Somerset object and vice versa. Also how many Gloucestershire players would make it into the Somerset XI?

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 28 Jun 2012 - 0:56

Shelsey93 wrote:My argument is well supported and expanded on in this article by Peter May on Cricket-365

[url=http://www.cricket365.com/news/story/7842624/Franchises-system-not-a-silver-bullet
http://www.cricket365.com/news/story/7842624/Franchises-system-not-a-silver-bullet[/quote[/url]]

Shelsey - yes, some very good points in this article and your earlier post about why a franchise system (quite whatever that is!) won't work here. However, I fear that might not prevent some corporate idiots with more money than sense and taste trying and causing considerable damage in the process.

As for Dirk Nannes' views which prompted the AOC article, please forgive my cynicism but isn't he just looking for another cash cow to milk? Particularly as it seems Surrey won't be so rash as to splash their cash on such a tired performer next season?

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Post by Shelsey93 Thu 28 Jun 2012 - 1:28

guildfordbat wrote:As for Dirk Nannes' views which prompted the AOC article, please forgive my cynicism but isn't he just looking for another cash cow to milk? Particularly as it seems Surrey won't be so rash as to splash their cash on such a tired performer next season?

Indeed. Four of the players which have put their names to wanting franchise cricket are Murali, Dirk Nannes, Scott Styris and Eoin Morgan.

The first three (perhaps less so Murali, as he has played plenty of Champ cricket and plans not to play T20 for much longer) stand to earn more money, and exposure, from a franchise competition. I suggest that, the future of the counties and interests of the fans, are of little consequence to them.

Meanwhile, Morgan spends every April and May at the IPL rather than playing for Middlesex, and has played a ridiculously low amount of county cricket for somebody who isn't even a regular England Test player. Read what you like into that.


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