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City-based Twenty20 tournament

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English cricket's new eight-team, city-based Twenty20 tournament moved a step closer on Monday as further details were revealed.

The newly created tournament is proposed to begin in 2020.

Tom Harrison, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, said it can rival the Indian Premier League and is "not a gamble" for the counties.

"What we are doing here is future-proofing county cricket," Harrison told BBC sports editor Dan Roan.

"I don't think it's so much a gamble, I think it's about looking into the future and saying, 'What do we want our business and our game to look like?'"

A referendum is expected to be dispatched on Tuesday inviting stakeholders to sanction a tournament including eight teams, rather than the 18 first-class counties.

What is changing?

On Monday, the ECB presented a detailed overview of its proposals for a new Twenty20 competition to its 41 members. These included:

Eight new teams playing 36 games over a 38-day summer window, with four home games per team

All games televised, with significant free-to-air exposure

No scheduling overlap with the existing T20 Blast competition

An Indian Premier League-style play-off system to give more incentive for finishing higher up the league

A players' draft, with squads of 15 including three overseas players

Counties guaranteed £1.3m

Why does the ECB want to change?

It says cricket has the chance to be part of "mainstream conversation" and believes the new competition can make the sport "relevant to a whole new audience".

Following a period of consultation including more than 10,000 interviews, the ECB decided on three key principles:

To have a major positive impact on driving participation

To focus on recruiting the next generation of fans, in particular promoting attendance to a diverse, young, family audience

To ensure complete differentiation from existing cricket tournaments to protect and support the future of the county game

"What we absolutely need to do, is start appealing to a younger audience," said Harrison.

"We know that by doing things differently, by building new teams, we can be relevant to a whole new audience and bring this very diverse, multicultural Britain in to our stadiums in a way perhaps we haven't been successful in doing."

Is this the end of county cricket?

This will be the first time in the history of domestic cricket that first-class counties are not represented, hence the need for a change to the ECB's articles and constitutions.

It was confirmed on Monday that all 18 clubs have signed "media rights deeds" to allow the governing body to include the new Twenty20 in their forthcoming broadcast portfolio.

Asked if the move to a city-based format signalled the end of the county system, Harrison said: "Not at all. I think what we are doing here is future-proofing county cricket.

"Cricket has been a sport which has always had the ability to evolve and change where it's needed to, and its shown itself to be incredibly adaptable.

"We are the sport which came up with short formats through T20, and other sports have been trying to find the T20 equivalent of their own.

"So we have demonstrated we are capable of it, we've got the format, we now just need to create the competition which enables these new fans to get involved.

"It's a hugely exciting moment."

Questions remain about schedule and players

Chris Gayle has spent the past two Twenty20 Blast seasons with Somerset

The ECB says the proposed competition can rival the incredible success of the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash, which draws average crowds of more than 28,000.

Questions remain around where the tournament will fit into the schedule, and which of the world's best players will be available.

The ECB insists it will not impact on the T20 Blast, which last season featured the likes of West Indies star Chris Gayle and New Zealand's Brendon McCullum.

"We think there's a lot of room for growth in the Blast," said Harrison. "It's done a tremendous job at bringing in a county cricket audience.

"But the evidence we have suggest cricket exists in a bubble and we've got to get outside this bubble."

He added the tournament could "absolutely" rival the IPL,

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Don't like this one bit. Utter greediness from the ECB and the smaller counties will seriously suffer as a result. Nothing wrong with the system as it is. 

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I love the IPL and The Big Bash so I'll no doubt watch this but I do worry about the effect on the County. I presume this will just make the test ground counties even richer and eventually kill off the county championship. Having said that county cricket is dying on it's arse anyway.

 

I don't think I could support a team based at Trent Bridge.

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I've always thought that the t20 was an ideal format for a Saturday 3pm, bring in the football and rugby supporters looking to fill their Saturday afternoons with some good exciting cricket on a tight timescale that would be familiar to them. However this looks to be the wealthy county's looking to protect themselves and increase their share while paying off the poorer counties who are struggling and as a result will always be struggling, if not financially then competitively. Change needs to be brought in but it needs to benefit the game and all the counties and should strive to keep as level a playing field as possible and the competition high.

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Never understood why a county schedule couldnt be as simple as 4 day stuff in April/May, 50 over stuff in June, T20 in July and then back to 4 day cricket for the last two months. Maybe even now just do one match against each side instead of two, or even 3 divisions of 6 teams, 10 games facing sides twice. (4 day cricket)

 

Either way despite it maybe being better for audiences on a Friday night, having such a good format being played over a 3 month period with the odd 4 day/50 over game mixed in is stupid.


Edited by Walkers

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Sounds good to me. I'm not really a cricket man as such but I do love watching the test matches. The County system seems ancient and out of date anyway. The Big Bash has been a massive success and has driven up the number of people participating in the game which can only be a good thing surely?

 

 

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If the ECB want more terrestrial TV exposure then just sell the rights of the current T20 blast to mainstream TV not SKY at the end of the contract...the ECB are making fortunes from TV across the world so re-invest that back into the County structure to give the smaller counties an equal playing field...the likes of LCCC cant compete with the bigger counties who benefit from Test match/International revenue...the more even the playing field the better the product is...or even more radical why don't the ECB invest in a pool of contracted, top quality, overseas players who they fund for the T20 season, giving teams opportunities to draft them.

 

County cricket is dying a slow, painful death, the ECB are responsible so another half baked competition simply promotes greed, ie Quantity over Quality...fans will pay to watch quality, not just more and more games squeezed in to boost the ECB coffers.

 

I think the vast vast majority would also be fiercely opposed to the new City based teams principle, I for one would never travel or pay to watch the "East Midlands" team based at Trent Bridge.

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Without a decent competitive County Cricket set up international cricket will deteriorate T20 doesn't  develop test cricketers 

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Dreadful, dreadful idea which will fall face first into a massive pile of sludge.

 

It works in India and Australia because a) the city's are where the overwhelming majority of the population live and b) they're guarenteed 30+ degree heat and sunshine for every game. Here, people are not going to drop their county loyalty to donate money to see journeymen paraded around for some East Midlands Bearwolves franchise or whatever. The only way that this will improve county cricket is that more people will go to county T20 fixtures in protest at this joke of a tournament. 


Edited by Lionator
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"Daddy daddy, can we go to a cricket match?"

"No son, course we fvcking can't, it's 60 miles away in Nottingham."

 

Poor idea that will completely alienate supporters of the smaller counties which, let's not forget, have been some of the most successful in T20.

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As already said there's a perfectly good competition what attracts the likes of Chris Gayle to this country and sells out grounds across the country (and what games sell out the most? - the local rivalries like Worcs v Warks, Leics v Notts, Essex v Kent and *EDIT* was mentioned on the radio that Somerset v Gloucestershire sold at both Bristol and Taunton)

 

ECB can put the current tournament on free to air TV. I just don't see how this competition is any different to make people want to watch it - we get an extra overseas player and certain teams pick the best of the 'lesser' counties. 

 

IPL works because there was a severe lack of professionalism at a national level in a cricket mad nation (despite it being a competition full of corruption). 

 

Big Bash works because there are 6 territories and they have a lead city in each with huge populations. 

 

This is England. 18 counties with their own identities and histories. The T20 gave a lesser counties and players an opportunity. The counties sadly can't afford to turn the money down or face being criticised by other counties.

 


Edited by Cardiff_Fox
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5 hours ago, davieG said:

Without a decent competitive County Cricket set up international cricket will deteriorate T20 doesn't  develop test cricketers 

Test cricket is in decline in a lot of countries as well.

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Pardon my domestic cricket ignorance, but are there any signs as to which clubs will have a team in this league or is it likely that they will they invent new teams such as "London" etc?


Edited by RonnieTodger

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I called this years ago, a closed shop, T20 for every test playing ground. Not the way it should be going but with ECB money talks. This is the first nail in the coffin of county cricket for me.

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3 hours ago, RonnieTodger said:

Pardon my domestic cricket ignorance, but are there any signs as to which clubs will have a team in this league or is it likely that they will they invent new teams such as "London" etc?

It will follow the test grounds. 

 

London x2

Manchester

Leeds

Birmingham

Nottingham

 

Then the next two could be either: Durham, Bristol, Southampton or Cardiff. I suspect Cardiff because of the stadium is decent, then its hard to say between Durham and Southampton. Durham are not in ECB's good books at the moment, so most likely Southampton and ECB's beloved Hampshire. 

 

What's lost in all this is that county cricket thrives on regional rivalries. 


Edited by Cardiff_Fox
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I agree it is a shame that there is no live cricket on terrestrial TV but let's not pretend that they did everything perfectly and it was stolen from them. The coverage on Channel 4 was awful at times, cutting away from Test matches on Saturday afternoons for horse racing, starting at 10.30am to fit the likes of Countdown and Hollyoaks in, Sky pay more money and give a far better package for their cash though unfortunately fewer people can see it. Cricket could've remained on terrestrial TV if they'd put their full backing into it but didn't.

 

I'm also not sure where these new fans that are being targeted will come from. Cricket isn't a hard game to follow in terms of live scores, updates, locations etc if you really want to, if they aren't going now (with a much greater choice of venues) then a condensed version can't be that appealing.

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It's a shame, the competition works so well here because each state team playing in the Sheffield shield (county championship) received at least one team in their state sometimes two.

The huge attendance we see are generally for the big rivalries, ie Melbourne or Sydney derbies and when traditional state rivalries Vic V NSW for example is now Stars v Sixers.

In England half the counties and their supporters have just been alienated from the competition, can you see a Bloke from Yorkshire going over to watch Manchester mavericks at Old Trafford? 

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So let me get this straight... the home city of the team which has won the T20 more times than any other probably won't get a team?

 

In a city with a huge Indian community.

 

The ECB are pillocks.

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On 28/03/2017 at 19:03, TK95 said:

RIP Leics 

Northants as well 

 

two teams that the Blast has saved and two teams that have been to the forefront of making the format work 

 

its disgusting if it comes off , there should be a boycott organised of every ECB event once it gets going 

 

 

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