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Old 20th January 2018, 14:34   #41
cabinboy
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I lik this propose format, except I would organise geographically. Get to beat Lancashire twice every year.
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Old 20th January 2018, 18:17   #42
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I fear that opening up the Championship again to the weak div 2 sides won't lead to them suddenly being competitive and they might just routinely sit at the bottom of the table while the stronger counties compete for the title.
That is the likely outcome for the first couple of seasons.

But there won't be the need for players like Northeast and Coles to abandon their mother county in search of Div One cricket in order to further their careers.

After a couple of seasons of the weakest counties like Kent/Leics/Derbys/Glos not routinely losing all their best players, they will start to become a little more competitive.

That's the theory at least!
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Old 20th January 2018, 19:15   #43
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That is the likely outcome for the first couple of seasons.

But there won't be the need for players like Northeast and Coles to abandon their mother county in search of Div One cricket in order to further their careers.

After a couple of seasons of the weakest counties like Kent/Leics/Derbys/Glos not routinely losing all their best players, they will start to become a little more competitive.

That's the theory at least!
I don't have an issue with good players moving to the better counties. The problem is that it hasn't happened enough.
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Old 21st January 2018, 12:49   #44
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From a purely Worcestershire perspective, some sort of conference set-up has its attractions, as since promotion and relegation were introduced, we have spent most seasons being either too good for Division 2 or not good enough for Division 1. Conferences gives the chance to find our true level.
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Old 23rd January 2018, 11:52   #45
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No, the ECB hasn't decided anything.

And if you read the Yorkshire plan (which has merely been submitted to the ECB), the strength of the groups is not random.

The Yorkshire plan also means 15 games rather than the current 14 as after ten games all teams go into three new conferences, based on their performance over the first ten games, and the results over the last five games will determine positions 1-18, with prize money all the way down to 15.

I don't suppose the ECB will like the idea of increasing the amount of four day cricket. But I thought you would be supportive of it?

There are other versions of the conference system knocking around which do not involve increasing the county programme to 15 matches but the Yorkshire proposal is the most satisfying I've seen.
I'd be OK with the Yorkshire proposal, but I certainly don't like the ECB proposal with the three way play-offs. That's no way to decide the Championship. If all three matches are drawn, or if all three teams win one and lose one, how do we determine the champions without some sort of unsatisfactory tie-breaker?

The strange thing about all this is that it seems to prioritise the counties above "Team England". I hasten to add I am not advocating this, but surely it would be best for the Test team in the long term if all the best players were concentrated among a small number of teams in an exclusive competition where they play against each other?

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I suppose the Yorkshire proposal, as described, represents the groupings most based upon the previous season's achievement (if not actually upon merit), but will they be adopted?

For example, the counties may be looking to secure fixtures against local rivals. In Yorkshire's case, the odds against there being a Roses fixture in the group stages of the first season under the new system would be about 2:1 against. There may also be other fixtures that other counties may wish to secure.
But that's already been happening for almost 20 years since the two division system was introduced. There won't be a Surrey/Middlesex match in this year's Championship, and we've had seasons in the past without a Roses Championship match. There hasn't been a Somerset/Gloucestershire Championship match since 2007.

It must be pretty soul destroying to follow one of the Division 2 also-rans. At least Derbys & Northants each had a promotion a few years ago (albeit rapidly followed by relegation) and Kent are usually in contention until the final month. But Glamorgan, Gloucs & Leics have all been marooned in the lower division for 12 seasons or more and are normally consigned to yet another season at that level before we break for the T20 matches.

Surrey had a couple of very dismal seasons in Division 2, twice finishing third from bottom in between being relegated in 2008 and promoted in 2011, but at least following a county of that stature you always believe next year will be different. The thought of being in that situation and seeing a couple of the better players leaving and replacing them with someone else's cast-offs year on year doesn't really bear thinking about.
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Old 24th January 2018, 11:27   #46
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...But that's already been happening for almost 20 years since the two division system was introduced. There won't be a Surrey/Middlesex match in this year's Championship, and we've had seasons in the past without a Roses Championship match. There hasn't been a Somerset/Gloucestershire Championship match since 2007. ...
That's very true but the two division format was agreed back then with the knowledge that it would happen.

There is now an opportunity for counties to secure more attractive fixtures, i.e. a group system where geography becomes a factor. If this happens, we will have not have a playing field as level as it could be.
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Old 24th January 2018, 12:30   #47
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That's very true but the two division format was agreed back then with the knowledge that it would happen.

There is now an opportunity for counties to secure more attractive fixtures, i.e. a group system where geography becomes a factor. If this happens, we will have not have a playing field as level as it could be.
I guess you could ask all counties to nominate one other they would like in their group for commercial/traditional reasons, which would then leave nine pairs of counties to be divided into groups either at random or by some sort of convoluted seeding system in which each pair is given a combined ranking. But that would still leave probably Durham and Glamorgan out on a limb as they'd be unlikely to be anyone else's first choice. Otherwise its the same three geographical groupings used when the T20 had three regional groups.

This is one of teh fundamental problems with English cricket. There are simply too many vested interests, both between the counties and the international game and between counties with different preferences and priorities. Every couple of years things chance, then half the counties argue that it was better before, so we either reverse the last change or switch to something else different again.
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Old 24th January 2018, 12:48   #48
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I guess you could ask all counties to nominate one other they would like in their group for commercial/traditional reasons, which would then leave nine pairs of counties to be divided into groups either at random or by some sort of convoluted seeding system in which each pair is given a combined ranking. But that would still leave probably Durham and Glamorgan out on a limb as they'd be unlikely to be anyone else's first choice. Otherwise its the same three geographical groupings used when the T20 had three regional groups.

This is one of teh fundamental problems with English cricket. There are simply too many vested interests, both between the counties and the international game and between counties with different preferences and priorities. Every couple of years things chance, then half the counties argue that it was better before, so we either reverse the last change or switch to something else different again.
So Derbyshire and Leicestershire both pick Notts and Notts pick Yorkshire who pick Lancs?
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Old 24th January 2018, 13:12   #49
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Regionally based groups, fixed in stone, year in & year out, will quickly become dull & boring. It must be avoided at all costs.
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Old 24th January 2018, 15:13   #50
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No, the ECB hasn't decided anything.

And if you read the Yorkshire plan (which has merely been submitted to the ECB), the strength of the groups is not random.

The Yorkshire plan also means 15 games rather than the current 14 as after ten games all teams go into three new conferences, based on their performance over the first ten games, and the results over the last five games will determine positions 1-18, with prize money all the way down to 15.

I don't suppose the ECB will like the idea of increasing the amount of four day cricket. But I thought you would be supportive of it?

There are other versions of the conference system knocking around which do not involve increasing the county programme to 15 matches but the Yorkshire proposal is the most satisfying I've seen.
Actually the Yorkshire proposal doesn't have to mean 15 matches. In the final phase you'll already have played one of the teams in your group twice , those points are carried forward, so no real need to play them a third time. Play 5 teams home and away, then 4 teams once = 14 matches same as now.

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So Derbyshire and Leicestershire both pick Notts and Notts pick Yorkshire who pick Lancs?
Obviously you couldn't satisfy everyone's first preference. With hindsight it was a rather half-baked suggestion.
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Old 24th January 2018, 19:47   #51
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Regionally based groups, fixed in stone, year in & year out, will quickly become dull & boring. It must be avoided at all costs.
I agree, for what it's worth. I can understand it, to a point in T20, travelling right across the country for less than half a days cricket (maximum) is relatively pointless. But for the longer format(s) dull and boring watching maximum five other counties year in year out.
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Old 29th January 2018, 21:05   #52
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I think its completely disingenuous of the smaller counties who have suggested this(the yorks proposal is separate), and smacks of self interest.

Leics, Kent and Sussex are prime movers, and instead of attempting to get better and actually compete and get better at 4 day cricket and try and get promotion, they have given up focused on 1 day cricket and come up with this hairbrained scheme to excuse their own failings. Shame on any supporter who backs this as it will ultimately lead to the death of 1st class cricket as a credible competition uncompromised, and not rewarding endeavour and effort.

if kent cant produce a competitive team, through complete lack of young players coming through, despite considerable population advantages over many counties, because of decades of mismanagement and a rotten structure they shouldn't just vote to change the format of the competition. Its frankly pathetic.

The same is true for Leicester. Sussex are slightly differnt as its the idiot Andrew saying it, after the mess he left the RFU in it beggars belief anyone takes him seriously. Essex, Derbyshire, Northants have all shown hard work, innovation can get you promotion, and Somerset have been a model for the non test match counties to follow, constantly holding their own in division 1.

2 division cricket has produced meaningful, pressure cricket, and division 1 is widely considered the highest standard in the world, even over the shield which is completely compromised now. There may well be some dead games in division 2 but that's because a number of counties are not producing talent. if they want 3 divisions lets have them and maroon theses lazy counties in the bottom one and relegate them to minor county status is they cannot get their houses order or be bothered to.
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Old 29th January 2018, 23:58   #53
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A variation on the Yorks proposal, you could do 6 regional groups of 3 playing each other twice and then 1st, 2nd and 3rd go in to 3 groups and those teams play each other twice which would end up with 14 games each.

At a guess the regional groups would be.
Gloucestershire,Glamorgan,Somerset
Hampshire,Sussex,Surrey
Middlesex,Kent,Essex
Worcestershire,Warwickshire,Northants
Leicestershire,Nottinghamshire,Derbyshire,
Yorkshire,Derbyshire,Lancashire
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Old 30th January 2018, 16:52   #54
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A variation on the Yorks proposal, you could do 6 regional groups of 3 playing each other twice and then 1st, 2nd and 3rd go in to 3 groups and those teams play each other twice which would end up with 14 games each.

At a guess the regional groups would be.
Gloucestershire,Glamorgan,Somerset
Hampshire,Sussex,Surrey
Middlesex,Kent,Essex
Worcestershire,Warwickshire,Northants
Leicestershire,Nottinghamshire,Derbyshire,
Yorkshire,Derbyshire,Lancashire
regional would be a disaster for the spectator, incredibly boring playing the same sides over and over (and indeed for the players, playing the same players over and over on the same grounds, that's no way to prepare for international cricket). If people want 3 divisions and only 10 games a season, then have promotion and relegation between them with 1 up and down in each and a palyoff between 2nd place and 2nd from bottom.

10 games is a joke as weather plays far to big a part in it.
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Old 30th January 2018, 17:21   #55
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IMO it is all "fiddling whilst Rome burns" whilst we have vast swathes of the summer set aside for T20 and CC starting 13th April.
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Old 31st January 2018, 17:22   #56
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IMO it is all "fiddling whilst Rome burns" whilst we have vast swathes of the summer set aside for T20 and CC starting 13th April.
I know, mate. Like you, a small part of me pines for the good old days of county cricket when teams batted all day at 1.8 runs per over and we could spend all day savouring the painstaking technique of the likes of Bolus, Boycs, Arthur Milton, Eric Russell, Don Kenyon et al as they crawled towards their six-hour centuries.

But a rather larger part of me says thank goodness those days are gone!
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Old 5th February 2018, 08:25   #57
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I'd welcome these changes. From a Derbyshire perspective it's become very difficult to muster any sort of enthusiasm for Championship cricket over the last few years given that from a very early stage of the season it's been clear that any the prospect of promotion and thus meaningful games was non-existent. Also have no problems playing just the ten games either; provided of course that those games are scheduled properly rather just shoe horned into wherever a convenient window arises.
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Old 5th February 2018, 09:00   #58
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I think its completely disingenuous of the smaller counties who have suggested this(the yorks proposal is separate), and smacks of self interest.

Leics, Kent and Sussex are prime movers, and instead of attempting to get better and actually compete and get better at 4 day cricket and try and get promotion, they have given up focused on 1 day cricket and come up with this hairbrained scheme to excuse their own failings. Shame on any supporter who backs this as it will ultimately lead to the death of 1st class cricket as a credible competition uncompromised, and not rewarding endeavour and effort.

if kent cant produce a competitive team, through complete lack of young players coming through, despite considerable population advantages over many counties, because of decades of mismanagement and a rotten structure they shouldn't just vote to change the format of the competition. Its frankly pathetic.

The same is true for Leicester. Sussex are slightly differnt as its the idiot Andrew saying it, after the mess he left the RFU in it beggars belief anyone takes him seriously. Essex, Derbyshire, Northants have all shown hard work, innovation can get you promotion, and Somerset have been a model for the non test match counties to follow, constantly holding their own in division 1.

2 division cricket has produced meaningful, pressure cricket, and division 1 is widely considered the highest standard in the world, even over the shield which is completely compromised now. There may well be some dead games in division 2 but that's because a number of counties are not producing talent. if they want 3 divisions lets have them and maroon theses lazy counties in the bottom one and relegate them to minor county status is they cannot get their houses order or be bothered to.
Damn fine post. Some very good points, well made.
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Old 5th February 2018, 09:51   #59
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Damn fine post. Some very good points, well made.
Perhaps if these poorly performing counties want a better chance, it would be better to keep the top tier as 8 counties and split the 2nd tier into 2 conferences of 5 with the top team in each being promoted.
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Old 5th February 2018, 12:57   #60
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I'd welcome these changes. From a Derbyshire perspective it's become very difficult to muster any sort of enthusiasm for Championship cricket over the last few years given that from a very early stage of the season it's been clear that any the prospect of promotion and thus meaningful games was non-existent. Also have no problems playing just the ten games either; provided of course that those games are scheduled properly rather just shoe horned into wherever a convenient window arises.
self interest due to not producing players. why ruin cricket for everyone just because you are failing at you task?
if these teams can't compete. get rid of them. don't ruin the competition for everyone else to accommodate teams who are not fit for purpose.
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