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Too many County Cricket clubs?

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Too many County Cricket clubs? Empty Too many County Cricket clubs?

Post by hodge Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:40 pm

According to Lord MacLaurin former chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Says there should be 12 counties rather than 18 and some should be amalgamated.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/25702462

Question is who would be moved together, one of his suggestions is Somerset and Gloucestershire, apart from last season since we got promoted (Somerset) we have been a strong side in the county championship and have to wonder why we would have to join with another. I can't see any test match ground counties being told they would have to merge, considering Surrey are going to be a division 2 county next season along with say Hampshire. I would be willing to say those counties wouldn't be told to merge.

He does also mention Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, 2 counties who tend to struggle but I'd be willing to bet both would rather continue alone. I know of a player who moved from Glamorgan to Gloucestershire, can't imagine he'd be best pleased if he had to be back there as a player, even if only joint. Could you imagine Lancashire and Yorkshire being told to merge?

I can't see anything happening as the counties are too set in their ways. We saw the reaction when the idea of an English Premier league were proposed where place names like Manchester and Birmingham (now being used by Warwickshire) instead of the counties and there was outrage.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:43 pm

There is unfortunately some substance behind MacLaurin's concerns. Many of the eighteen counties are in financial difficulty and the position has been getting increasingly worse.

Something will have to be done and probably sooner rather than later. However, from the way MacLaurin comes across in this article, he needs to sound less like the former Chief Executive of Tesco (as he was) studying a balance sheet and instead show more understanding and empathy towards the history, traditions and rivalries of the county game. Otherwise, those counties will continue to resist change and keeps their heads buried until it is too late.

Also, MacLaurin states thats the aim of changes to the county game should be to improve the England cricket team. Agreed but that shouldn't be the sole aim. We should also be looking to improve the county game itself.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:18 pm

I've long thought that the introduction of another layer of cricket, a 5-day tournament between regional teams, would help with a number of the problems noted here. It would add another revenue for Counties, and a higher level of competition for players. The only problem would be where to fit it into the season.

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Post by kingraf Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:43 pm

We only have six franchises (used to be 11 districts) in South Africa, and it has its benefits. Higher quality of cricket on display, being one of them. But it also brings more problems, I'd say - less players being exposed to quality cricket (indeed, had we still had 11 sides I'd fancy my chances at cricket professionally -just now there are so many steps that unless you're a prodigy, perseverance is as important as talent). It also destroys any sense of identity fans feel with cricket counties/franchises. I remember watching the Highveld Strikers playing other districts in random 50-over matches and the arenas were packed, middle of the week. Ten years into the franchise system, we couldn't even fill up the Wanderers during the List A finals. Why? Under the old dispensation, fans got 5-10 List A matches a year, now we get three - max. It's difficult to get excited about a team when they're never around, no?
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Post by hodge Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:50 am

Hoggy_Bear wrote:I've long thought that the introduction of another layer of cricket, a 5-day tournament between regional teams, would help with a number of the problems noted here. It would add another revenue for Counties, and a higher level of competition for players. The only problem would be where to fit it into the season.

You could feasibly make the CC a 5 day tournament and make it 3 divisions of 6 rather than 2 of 9.

18 four day games = 72 days of cricket
12 five day games = 60 days of cricket

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:16 am

The concern is that that with the kolpaks, foriegns and pensioners the talent pool in England becomes even more diluted and even less chance for that elusive left arm 90mph bowler to exist.

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Post by VTR Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:02 am

Its strange because last time we lost 5-0 we definitely had too many teams. But when we won 3-1 it wasn't an issue and the CC was lauded for the tough, competitive cricket played and actually the Aussie system was the one with problems and definitely far too few teams. Another hammering and there's too many teams again!

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Post by Scrumpy Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:00 pm

I have another solution.

You pick fit players on form to play for England and stop picking players on former glories or if their face fits, you also allow Englands top players to play County Cricket so fans can get to see the Best players that we have to offer, that might also help to grow the game at County level.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:14 pm

Well said Scrumpy & VTR,
Would also completely refute any notion of five-day County Cricket, but by all means demand more cricket in the days you do play, much more exacting requirements for overs-per-hour.


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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:25 pm

Its no different when the Aussies lost, then it was the BBL and lack of competitiveness in Shield cricket that was to blame.

The two divisions thing was credited with some of the improvements in English cricket. There is a lot to be said for pushing up the quality and intensity of county cricket to produce mentally tougher and more competitive players.
The big issues with further cutting county cricket as noted above are disenfranchising fans, damaging grass roots cricket, reducing the opportunities to break through and the player pool to select from.

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