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Old 20th May 2015, 13:07   #18
Summer of '77
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: London-Essex
Team(s): Kent, Essex, Surrey Stars
Posts: 7,816
With the English cricket competitions, I get the feeling that the 50 overs thing is almost nobody's favourite. It's like that scene in Auf Wiedersehen Pet when they're voting on a colour for the hut decor and and up with yellow - "Who voted for yellow?" "Nobody, but it's everyone's second preference". Last year, I found myself in a sizeable camp of CC fans who went along to the Royal London because it's a full day's cricket...but we'd all much prefer to be watching the red ball game. Similarly, I identified a decent smattering of T20 fans who were there to catch some limited overs thrills and spills, but would have rather it over was the shorter format.

It's certainly not a lucrative competition, in the way the old Gillette and B&H once were. Because Warks were desperate to fill some seats for their semi final with Kent, they allowed members of both counties in for free and charged everyone else a tenner. Kent's share of the meagre gate income was so small, they barely covered their expenses for the day.

The only rationale for retaining a non-T20 limited overs competition has to that it unequivocally helps to prepare the national side for its ODI commitments. Most of the chatter from WC2015, however, seemed to suggest that England are still entrenched in a mid-90s mindset and that, in fact, it's T20 which is better equipping cricketers to excel over 50 overs. I believe this point needs to be thoroughly considered, because if the 50 overs competition is failing in its preparatory duties, attracting nobody and is a financial flop, then why on earth should we be contemplating reducing the Championship rather than doing the truly radical thing and admitting that old-school domestic one-dayers are redundant?
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