ICL: Indian Cricket League

Championship under threat from Twenty20 explosion


The County Championship could be trimmed to make way for far more Twenty20 matches, according to proposals unearthed by The Times.

Jack Simmons, the former Lancashire chairman who now heads the ECB’s cricket committee, has initiated plans to create space in the domestic calendar for an IPL-style competition. It would mean the existing 16 four-day matches being reduced to 16 three-day games, with earlier start and later finish times to allow a minimum of 120 overs a day to be bowled.

At present, there is a minimum of 96 over per day, so Simmons’ plan would only see a reduction in playing time of 24 overs. However, players are likely to oppose being asked to bowl more overs in a day. When a minimum number of overs was first introduced in the late 1980s it was set at 120 per day, but finishes after 8pm were not uncommon and the number has gradually been reduced. However, overtime is still a regular occurrence.

The ECB seem determined to create a larger gap in the Championship season than is now the case. One proposal, believed to have been backed by the Professional Cricketers’ Association, was to cut the number of games from 16 to 12, but that would have caused alarm among those who see the Championship as the nursery for creating Test cricketers.

“I think the county chairmen would agree to a reduction in matches if they are going to make more money from Twenty20 cricket.” Simmons told the newspaper. “The England players should not have any say in this because they do not play in Championship matches. Yes, we do play too much international cricket and players become tired, but as soon as a sum of £100,000 is offered to them to take part in a competition in India they don’t appear to be exhausted any longer.

“It is not possible to breed any players in Twenty20 cricket and my concern would be that standards don’t drop. The way to learn the game is in the middle in Championship matches.”

Source:Cricket News

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