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Old 27th May 2015, 17:19   #41
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Or just lose Somerset and keep Surrey, Yorkshire, Sussex, Warwickshire, Notts, Durham, Lancashire as the last seven county championship winners over the past sixteen years.
Sussex get to stay anyway, as co-creators of the noble Wealden game.
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Old 27th May 2015, 19:49   #42
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On a serious note I think if we are going to go down the route of 3 divisions it should be 3 division of 6 and 10 games to mirror that of the Sheffield Shield.
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Old 27th May 2015, 20:38   #43
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Should leave the championship alone. Everybody seems to think messing with the championship will somehow improve the test team.
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Old 28th May 2015, 12:19   #44
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Three divisions of seven is just ridiculous. Where on earth would the additional three teams come from? Presumably Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, but when the ECB expanded the one day competition to three groups of seven it turned out they hadn't actually made sure Ireland wished to take part, so we had the contrived Unicorns team taking their place.

Three divisions of any number is bad IMO, as two thirds of teams will have no chance of winning the Championship in any given season, and one third will be at least two seasons away from being able to contest it.

Leave it as it is with two divisions of nine, which seems to have worked fairly well for the last fifteen years. If we really must reduce the number of fixtures (which I personally don't accept) then just cut it to fourteen, with teams playing two opponents only once.

Ideally I'd like everyone playing each other home and away, but if you think about it logically that doesn't quite happen in practice due to weather affected matches effectively being cancelled or abandoned, as opposed to being postponed then rescheduled as in football or rugby. Most counties will suffer a couple of such matches each season, where rain wipes out any realistic chance of either side competing a win, or even accumulating any bonus points. For example, in August 2008 Surrey suffered a complete washout at Blackpool without a ball being bowled, then the following week at Canterbury only thirteen balls were bowled at the start of day 1 before rain came and stayed for the duration of the four days. Neither side had any chance of accruing any bonus points in either game, let alone actually winning; Surrey effectively played only 14 matches that season instead of 16, other than getting the 3 or 4 points (can't remember which it was at that time) for the draw.
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Old 28th May 2015, 12:24   #45
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Or you could keep the County Championship unchanged and introduce an extra tier between the counties and the test side?

A sort of North v South trial match for the hopefuls, played home and away. Maybe even four teams (SE, SW, NE and NW).
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Old 28th May 2015, 13:05   #46
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Or you could keep the County Championship unchanged and introduce an extra tier between the counties and the test side?

A sort of North v South trial match for the hopefuls, played home and away. Maybe even four teams (SE, SW, NE and NW).
That is something I've always felt we should try but I can't see any major spectator interest which would make it a non-starter in the eyes of the bean counters.
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Old 28th May 2015, 19:23   #47
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That is something I've always felt we should try but I can't see any major spectator interest which would make it a non-starter in the eyes of the bean counters.
I think the issue is far more around fitting it into the calendar. Players already miss matches for IPL, for internationals, even for Lions matches, so I can't see the counties being keen to lose their best players for even more. Maybe trial it as a one-day match?

I think it should be possible to market it. Test cricket has a far bigger following than county championship so you could try and leverage that market and get the people who only go once a year to watch some domestic cricket and discover new heroes. Maybe brand it as trials for forthcoming test/one-day side? Maybe even let England use it as a warm-up game. The last time England played the Lions we won the world cup as a result.

It would also allow the ECB to get round their Sky contractual requirements, maybe they could persuade BBC3 to televise it? I think that would create a buzz.

Baseball manages to market it's All Star game so it's a sell out and that's a bit of a joke match. The Lions and the Barbarians manage to pull in the crowds in rugby. If they get the best players, I'm sure they can get people to attend.
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Old 28th May 2015, 20:09   #48
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Or you could keep the County Championship unchanged and introduce an extra tier between the counties and the test side?

A sort of North v South trial match for the hopefuls, played home and away. Maybe even four teams (SE, SW, NE and NW).
I can't really see this happening as it would mean more matches and teams would lose their best players for what would effectively be exhibition matches.
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Old 28th May 2015, 20:12   #49
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Baseball manages to market it's All Star game so it's a sell out and that's a bit of a joke match. The Lions and the Barbarians manage to pull in the crowds in rugby. If they get the best players, I'm sure they can get people to attend.
In order to keep Sky interested you could let their commentators pick their stand out players of the season. They pick 22 players, split them into two teams and play each other as a one off match at Lords. I can't see it being any more than an exhibition though. I doubt England would pick players based on it.
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Old 29th May 2015, 09:40   #50
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Or you could keep the County Championship unchanged and introduce an extra tier between the counties and the test side?

A sort of North v South trial match for the hopefuls, played home and away. Maybe even four teams (SE, SW, NE and NW).
Up to six 4 day matches for each regional team on top of the current schedule?

No way; not only would there be no interest, there'd be no time either.
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Old 29th May 2015, 09:41   #51
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In order to keep Sky interested you could let their commentators pick their stand out players of the season. They pick 22 players, split them into two teams and play each other as a one off match at Lords. I can't see it being any more than an exhibition though. I doubt England would pick players based on it.
Sky would also need to think it would generate any interest and therefore advertising revenue.

I doubt they would.
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Old 29th May 2015, 10:07   #52
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Up to six 4 day matches for each regional team on top of the current schedule?

No way; not only would there be no interest, there'd be no time either.
That is how I see it as well.

Isn't the "second tier" already in place - the England Lions? But as far as I know they are not even playing any matches this summer as no "A" side is touring and the ECB do not seem too concerned as they just clog up the schedule. They only accept hosting teams as it's a reciprocal arrangement which allows the Lions to tour in the winter - which is what they really want out of it.
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Old 29th May 2015, 10:28   #53
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Interesting article here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/881837.html

But surely including Scotland and Ireland in the Championship would be absolutely loopy? How would this aid England player development? Especially with Ireland constantly looking to enhance their international status?
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Old 29th May 2015, 12:51   #54
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Interesting article here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/881837.html

But surely including Scotland and Ireland in the Championship would be absolutely loopy? How would this aid England player development? Especially with Ireland constantly looking to enhance their international status?
I'm liking the enthusiasm of Cornwall and Devon.

Seeing Wormsley in the first class fixture list would be great but I cant see the Oxfordshire / Bucks idea happening.
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Old 29th May 2015, 12:58   #55
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Devon would have a very strong pace attack with the overtons and Gregory! geography would be a big problem.
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Old 29th May 2015, 13:13   #56
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I'd be delighted if some more Minor Counties gained first class status. Growing the game has to be a priority and there remain areas of the UK, such as Norfolk and the far South West, which don't have f-c cricket on their doorstep. But it has to be done the right way - the Durham route, if you like - by those MC cricket boards demonstrating sufficient interest in their regions, obtaining the necessary investment, setting out a proper extended business plan. To simply extend the Championship to include the best performing two or three Minor Counties every year would be pointless and quite possibly deeply harmful to those organisations.
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Old 29th May 2015, 13:21   #57
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I'd be delighted if some more Minor Counties gained first class status. Growing the game has to be a priority and there remain areas of the UK, such as Norfolk and the far South West, which don't have f-c cricket on their doorstep. But it has to be done the right way - the Durham route, if you like - by those MC cricket boards demonstrating sufficient interest in their regions, obtaining the necessary investment, setting out a proper extended business plan. To simply extend the Championship to include the best performing two or three Minor Counties every year would be pointless and quite possibly deeply harmful to those organisations.
Try telling that to that **** Giles Clarke and his Indian and Australian mates at the ICC.
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Old 29th May 2015, 13:43   #58
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For what it's worth I think they got the 50 over competition right last year, and there were scores being made like those at the World Cup. They were playing in good weather conditions in a short, sharp competition where skills could be concentrated on.
Good post this, I meant to get back to it before.

There's the thing: there's a window of around 8-9 weeks in the year in which you're most likely to get good weather, warm evenings, good hard wickets, and the school/summer holidays - that is, July and August.

So of course it was a great time to have the RL 50 Cup. It would also be a great time to have all other cricket, but of course there isn't the room. They've already squeezed the whole of the Ashes into it.
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Old 29th May 2015, 20:01   #59
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Interesting article here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/881837.html

But surely including Scotland and Ireland in the Championship would be absolutely loopy? How would this aid England player development? Especially with Ireland constantly looking to enhance their international status?
Joyce, Porterfield and Rankin wouldn't join Ireland, and non Irish players could play for Ireland, so why not call them Belfast? I can't imagiane having Ireland playing in the Championship will help their chances of gaining test status either.

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I'm liking the enthusiasm of Cornwall and Devon.

Seeing Wormsley in the first class fixture list would be great but I cant see the Oxfordshire / Bucks idea happening.
I think if you are looking for minor counties teams Stafforshire would be a good shout. Maybe Cheshire as well. Theres been no dominant team in recent years.
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Old 29th May 2015, 20:21   #60
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Interesting article here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-c...ry/881837.html

But surely including Scotland and Ireland in the Championship would be absolutely loopy? How would this aid England player development? Especially with Ireland constantly looking to enhance their international status?
Reading the article, it's surprising that many teams lack the ambition to join county cricket. In other sports, if you gave a low ranking team the chance to join the big league, they'd jump at the chance.

I do agree with the comment made about the 50 over competition. It would be nice to see them given th chance to compete again.
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