Cut the number of teams + cut the number of games = better level of cricket?

October 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm 1 comment


The failures of the two English representatives in the Champions League has agian brought up the issue in how the quality in the English domestic game is lagging behind the rest. The English domestic teams play the most amount of games in each format, but quantity doesn’t exactly represent quality.

At the moment there is a high level in the amount of games faced by each county. That makes it increasingly difficult for a county to focus it’s atentions on one format for a sustained lenght of time. A 50 over game (now a 40 over game) is followed by a 4 day game, sometimes the following day. So, if a coach identifies a problem, there is little time to work on them. Sussex coach Mark Robinson has highlighted this problem that he faces. Before the tournament, there were worries about the players being tired after another hectic season, in the shortest format, it is difficult to tell of the impact but it will certainlly have contributed to the downfall.

The 50 over game being cut out of the domestic calendar, was a step in the right direction. It reduces the amount of games faced by a County. Whether the ECB was right to axe the 50 over format rather than the 40 over format is another question. However, the Twenty20 foramt and the 40 over format have seen an expansion, so only slighly reducing the workload. What the ECB needs to do is cut the number of teams competing in the domestic game. All the other countries have looked to keep teams at the top level to a reduced amount. South Africa have reduced participants from 11 to just 6, with just 10 four day matches. They have done this by combining the team through franchises, similar to the IPL. The success of the national team has since improved, featuring highly on the international rankings for both formats.

Ideally you would want to halve the amount of teams in English domestic cricket to 9. That done by joining 2 teams together. Rampakash’s suggestion is to pair teams by geographical location, e.g. Surrey and Middlesex forming a London team, Worcestershire and Warwikshire forming Birmingham. The criticism from the top is that income would be reduced as the amount of games at their venue is reduced. Is that such a price to pay if the quality of the cricket increases? No. This would almost guarentee that the best players appear in every game, raising the standard of the domestic game. A current bowling unit may consist of a former england bowler (in his 30s), a promising bowler and two decent bowlers. You would want every bowling attack to consist of the best players, which will in turn improve the quality of batsmen and vice versa. This may limit the appearances of some players, but it means that they get in once they are good enough to play at this level, with competition good for development.

Those at the top of the ECB and some of the money orientated chief executives in the domestic game, may be resistant to change. But in the long run, if this is better for the quality of the domestic gameand then the national team, then surely that is a good thing.


Entry filed under: Cricket.

English Clubs Struggle in Champions League ECB 40 League draw/ Suggest a name

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Vice Verse  |  October 20, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I think the idea of merging two teams is a great idea. I think to not suffer burnout cutting games is agood idea.


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