A Proposal For A New EPL

As today is the day before Good Friday (‘So So Thursday’?) and Easter is nearly upon us, regular reader Ian Thorburn has been thinking of ways to resurrect England’s domestic T20 competition.

Debate on a potential franchise system has been doing the rounds for a while now, but as yet nobody (on this blog anyway) has officially tried to articulate his or her own vision of what an English Premier League might look like.

Ian has given this a good go and come up with the following recipe. We’d love to know what you think, and what improvements you might make. Over to you Ian …

Hi All. Here is my proposal for a new English Premier League.


The existing 18 counties would, for the purpose of the competition, by “regionalised” into six seperate teams:-

Southern Sharks ( Hampshire, Sussex, Kent)
Central Chiefs ( Nottinghamshire, Leicetershire, Derbyshire)
Western Gladiators (Gloucestershire, Glamorgan, Somerset)
London Heat (Essex, Middlesex, Surrey)
Northern Raiders (Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham)
Midland Strikers (Warkwickshire, Worcestershire, Northamptonshire)

The make up / selection of each team squad would be as follows:-

Squads would comprise 18 players maximum

Each regional franchise could include 4 overseas players that would be bought in an “auction” style format

The rest of the regional playing squad would comprise the 12 20/20 domestic players gleaned from the 3 counties that comprise that individual region

Each county would provide 4 players each

The remaining 2 players for each team must come from “associate” test teams (UAE, Afghanistan etc)
The 12 players from the individual counties would be ” bought” from their county for the duration of the tournament

The fee paid for the player would be split as such. 70% to the player and 30% to the county for their release for the duration of the tournament (this could be re-worked as not certain if this split would satisfy individual counties “releasing players”)

Each team squad MUST include AT LEAST one under 20 player

Salary cap to be set at £750,000- £1 million per team

Tournament schedule / points

Each team would play each other once at home and once away with the top four teams going through to a Semi Final and then a subsequent Final

All games would take place in June ( this month would be specifically set aside for the duration of the tournament)

It would be ESSENTIAL that games take place as day / night games at the weekend to maximise revenue

ALL games would be played at a test match / large stadium venue to maximise gate receipts and revenue

Teams would be awarded 4 points for a win

A bonus point would be awarded for any batting side that hits more than 10 sixes in an innings

A bonus point would be awarded to any bowling side that restricts the batting side to less than 120

I look forward to hearing your thoughts

Ian Thorburn


  • Not a huge T20 fan, but certainly an interesting proposition.

    But where would the funding to “buy” the players come from?

    If the counties are expected to rely on their own financial resources, the Northern Raiders will win year on year.

  • Very interesting and some very good ideas. Not sure I like the make up of each team though and wonder has this been gleaned from the Big Bash or the authors own idea? I mean as a Hampshire supporter, how many Hampshire players would I be going to watch? (and where would the home games be played?) Would I really want to go to Canterbury if only James Vince was playing?

    I also think that perhaps we could have a bit a positive discrimination as well. I’m all for promoting the sport to the Associate Countries, but if Hampshire have 6 good T20 players, 2-3 won’t get a look in due the fact there are other players which have to be in the squad.

    Still, a good article,

    • I completely understand what you are saying but this tournament is designed to be an elite competition to give England the best chance of competing on the world stage. Financial recompense to the counties would be made and hopefully it would encourage counties to produce better players who have a chance of getting “bought”. Furthermore hopefully fans would support their “region” in time rather than worry about individual county players. I hear what you are saying though.

  • Because of the way our wonderful game of cricket … real cricket … is going this will be my last season in the sport. Everything is made of plastic nowadays.

    • Indeed Peter – the use of Americanised names shows that we have totally lost confidence in ourselves and are reduced to copying others. These ideas have not been thought through and show a sad tendency to put money first and call it realism. If we put cricket first, the gates might increase.

  • So even fewer grounds would host T20 games. Also would, for example, Notts split the gate money with Leicestershire & Derbyshire? How would Essex feel about going from constantly filling Chelmsford to not hosting a single match?
    The current 18 team format could work but the key to it is, as Ian identified, staging it over a short period (June does appear best) with no England internationals going on at the same time. This would leave England players available & also enable top players to be signed up for the duration.
    The ECB would have to be confident this would generate more money (as this is all they are concerned with) for them than the England matches they would have to ditch, which is highly unlikely, and therefore never likely to happen.

    • what’s the big deal about having England Test players available? Realistically, most of them wouldn’t get into their county’s T20 squad.

      We tried the shorter format, it was a complete disaster. The home games were far too close together for spectators, the county championship was pushed to the edges of the season, and one wet month (as in 2012) and the entire thing was written off, causing many counties extreme financial distress.

      We’ve learnt this lesson once, WHY, for the love of god, do we need to learn it again? Are people really that stupid?

  • I normally watch most or all home T20 games. As a Kent supporter I wouldn’t go to Hove or Southampton to watch the ‘Southern Sharks’. Indeed I’m not sure I’d drive 15 miles to Canterbury to watch such an artificial construct of a team, let alone 150 miles to the Rosebowl. As the proposal is that only Test grounds would be used, this effectively rules out those of us who live in and support non-Test ground counties. Why should I drive to Southampton? Would the Hampshire supporter drive to Canterbury? The Durham supporter down to Manchester or Leeds? And even if some supporters would travel so far, the timing of the games as Day/Night would mean that public transport would be out of the question.

    Sorry but this proposal, like most of those jumping on the ‘franchise’ bandwagon miss the point about English cricket, its tradition and heritage. Still, I guess guys like Allen Stanford would love it and we certainly need more like him in our game!

    • Fair point Giles. Ian here. It’s important to say it’s just a proposal. Maybe games could be played at other grounds. My point was to try and create a competition that is world class with the BEST players playing at the highest possible level but with significant county involvement to keep as many people happy as possible. It requires a different mindset re regional sides that’s all.

      • I suspect for most people going to cricket is about ease of access to games, ticket & travel cost and the tradition of supporting their teams. A regional franchise which artificially puts old rivals (Lancs & Yorks!) together wouldn’t do much for ‘county involvement’, and I suspect would alienate many more supporters than it would attract. And then the ease of getting to games would be reduced. For me – and many others I know – we’d simply not attend such matches. Are there really more ‘new’ supporters out there who currently don’t go to matches?

        And as regards foreign players…Many/most of those good players actually available are likely to play in this year’s T20… For those who don’t it’s often because their cricket board won’t let them. I’m afraid a franchise system wouldn’t change that.

    • I wonder what the MLB would say if some idiotic focus group told them to scrap 100 years of history and rivalry and merge several of their fiercest rivals. The Boston Yankees. The Chicago Cardinals. They’d be forcibly ejected from the building.

      What is it about certain sports leagues that brings the fans back year after year in record numbers? history, rivalry, tradition. integrity, context, continuity. Forget this at your peril, because 100 years hard work can be undone in a blink of an eye.

      You would think of all sports administrators, cricketers would know this the best. Sadly it seems that this is not the case.

  • Mark,

    Funding would come from the individual compamies or individuals who “own” these franchise sides


  • The proposal is very plausible and I like it – Funding should be from ECB and probably SKY who would love the idea. Yes it copies the Big Bash, but didn’t the IPL copy this country’s first 20:20 competition.

    Already there are concerns voiced about the old county system but I think this should be completely re vamped, apart from the retired or the lucky few who don’t have to work the normal Monday to Friday day time hours, how many people can go to a championship game?

    With this format – we could still have a smaller county based 20:20 game. During the rest of the summer this will assist the counties like Essex and somerset who rely on this revenue stream, although the proposed competition by Ian should bring in money to be shared evenly.

    The county championship could still be in 2 divisions but only one game played – make it more of an event and play some of the games from 2 pm so you can attract an evening crowd and more likely to have TV interest and I include ITV and BBC in this discussion. Have one 50 over competition and that will mean accommodating this exciting concept playing roughly the same amount of cricket.

    Many people have said in the past that one of the main reasons why at times England are disappointing at International level, is that there is too much “average” cricket being played.

    In truth all sports have changed over the years, my other love Football has changed since the Premiership, we either embrace and make change work or the sport withers away.

    • how has the premier league changed football in this country?? All it’s done is become external to the FA, made it’s own rules, marketted itself purely for money and that is all.. If you think that the EPL is ‘the best in the world’ then how come our teams are out of Europe?

      People talk up the premier league but it’s all hype, it’s no more competitive really than La Liga, only a few teams realitically can ever challenge and the rest are basically playing for survival, as that means cash.. and cash rules.

      as far as the actual sport is concerned, can’t say I think it’s changed it one bit. Football is what it is because it’s a quick and easy game played by the masses.. not because of the premier league, england, champions league etc

      That’s the difference for cricket, it’s losing it’s player base year on year, this is what is causing the issues. No one playing the game means more average players getting into higher leagues.. meaning lesser players being picked for ‘county’, meaning lesser quality being picked up by counties as pro’s.. meaning a lesser quality LVCC/OD/2020 team.. Boom, lesser quality England.

      It’s really not rocket science and doesn’t need flashy new things. It’ just needs genuine money and effort putting in at grass roots (not ecb focus/clubmark clubs!!) to increase player base and the rest will naturally follow in teh future.

  • Slats,

    Ian here. The whole point like you said is to crete an ELITE competition but with significant county involvement. The counties are so crucial to English cricket that surely “picking” or “buying” their bet players could only benefit. Like you alluded to the game is changing rapidly and we need some sort of change to compete. To me, its painfully obviou that the current system is inadeqaute to produce players to compete at the absolute ighest level

  • There is very little point in coming up with these fanciful proposals without a carefully constructed projected income statement for each franchise, and a comparison between that and the current system or alternate proposals.

    I would estimate that your proposed system would slash the revenues of the 18 counties by between 50 and 75%, resulting in the total financial collapse of the English professional cricket structure and the end of the game as we know it in this country.

  • In 2014, there were 133 games played in 18 locations, many to full or nearly full stadia full of people.
    In your proposal, there will be 33 games played in 6 locations.

    That is a 75% reduction in gate receipts, and you’re also withdrawing professional cricket from 2/3rds of the population that currently has access to it. Costs are unlikely to decrease as the non participating counties will still have squads and venues to maintain.

    The Big Bash EXPANDED. Why contract? Its financial and cultural suicide. You might as well just be honest in your intentions: just scrap cricket all together and tell people to go and watch football if that is what you want.

  • Ian,

    This is a great proposal. As a middle-aged formerly semi-serious player with a completely obsessed young son just getting in to the game I am pulled in two directions. Personally I regret the passing of the most stretching format of our national game, but as a parent I recognise the extraordinary excitement that a re-structured T20 competition would generate amongst the younger generation and even older current non-enthusiasts. This could revolutionise our game and refurbish it for a new generation.

    So, within the context of general support for and admiration of Ian’s structure a few niggles:
    – I don’t particularly like the regional teams as suggested, but this could be cut up in a number of different ways. (I would have thought Sussex, Kent and Essex might be better bedfellows than Hampshire, Sussex and Kent) and this could always be left to the counties to form alliances that they found congenial with the proviso that they were geographically contiguous. (I can’t really imagine Yorkshire and Lancashire coming together easily either.)
    – I don’t think that pre-allocating a fixed number of overseas players is ideal: allow up to 4 players not from the counties making up the franchise but don’t insist on it perhaps
    – I wouldn’t insist on Test grounds for matches – spread it around (surely TV income will be significantly more important than gate receipts in any case and encouraging cohesive local support across the geographies of the created franchises could only help generate real local excitement.)

    But really, it’s great. I hope someone at the ECB is reading and sees the need for action rather than creating a “working group” to write a report to file with a committee formed to look in to development structures. It is not only our game on the field that needs proper leadership, but our game administration too.

    Anyway – congratulations on a great job.

  • AB,

    Thanks fo your comments. At no point did I mention the scrapping of a county T20 game. This is a seperate competition designed, hopefully, to enhance Englans performances at 20/20 / one day cricket. Or we could just go on with the current system which is clearly not working

    As regards the finances, I agree. I’m not qualified to make financial forecasts and revenue predictions etc. As i say its a eperate, ELITE competition where the best players play against each other for a month. Thats it


    • In what way is it “clearly not working”? Its an elite level competition that brings in more revenue than the Big Bash, produces more exciting games and higher average scores, sells out stadia across the country, and produces an outstanding class of international players that, let us not forget, recently won the T20 world cup. If it was on free-to-air tv it would capture the national attention and be hailed as an incredible success story.

      All this new competition would do is confuse people and undermine the already superior setup we currently have.

      • “In what way is it clearly not working?”

        The fact that England are no. 8 in the world in T20Is.

        • That is entirely the fault of the current management and coaching staff for failing to utilise the incredible amount of domestic talent on display in the natwest T20 and insist on playing centrally contracted test and one day cricketers in a format in which they have neither the skills or experience required to succeed.

    • Given that the entire point of the domestic T20 competition is to allow counties to remain financially self-sustaining, it seems rather pointless to attempt to come up with a suggestion that doesn’t factor in the financial implications, and doesn’t seem terribly well informed about the details of the current competition it would look to supersede.

      As it is, I’m sorry to tell you its a truly terrible idea.

  • Xan B

    Thanks for the positive comments. It’s just a proposal and the alliances between counties were based on geography more than anything else. There would be plenty up for discussion and I do think taking to other grounds is actually a very very good idea. In my view, the game is not changing, it HAS chaned and we are lagging behind

  • Excellent proposal and I’d support it. A few additions:

    1) It needs to run in the August school holidays.
    2) FTA TV coverage is essential.
    3) All matches need to start at the same time.
    4) Tickets must be priced correctly – view the competition as a ‘loss leader’ if necessary with the primary goal to attract new fans to the game..
    5) Great idea about helping the associates – I’d like to help Pakistan players frozen out of the IPL as well.

  • We debated this in our cricket club the other day, and here’s an infinitely better suggestion:

    1) Take the current competition, add 3-4 new teams based in Edinburgh, Exeter and Cambridge to attract new fans from these areas. Split into 2-3 groups and make sure ever team plays each other home and away.

    2) Split the games between Friday nights and Sunday afternoons to make it easier for fans from further afield and families to attend.

    3) Split finals day into three consecutive nights.

    4) Show a live group game free to air tv every Friday night, with quarter finals and beyond all televised – give it away for free if necessary. Just do whatever it takes to get it showing in people’s living rooms.

    5) Cap entry prices at £20 for adults, £10 concessions

    6) Watch as tv viewership grows exponentially over the next few years, hitting 2005 Ashes levels by 2020, spectator numbers and revenues go through the roof.

  • Praise to you Ian for starting with a clean sheet of paper and putting a lot of thought into something original rather than rejigging what we’ve got.

    In that vein, I wouldn’t worry about dear old codgers (oh, that’s me) having to uproot and travel to somewhere strange. This is a new start and hopefully, a different audience, although old codgers are welcome. However, As a Sussex resident, if not a committed Sussex fan, I’d look at putting Sussex, Surrey and Kent together. If it’s Oval based, London is straightforward for hopping on a train and ease of access will be important.

    While I guess the ECB will be involved, I suggest they involve people from outside cricket (is that scurrilous?) e.g. People from the music world, Richard Branson, a film producer, someone from a PL football board (don’t hit me, I’m brainstorming) – people whose career depends on considering their audience and packing them in. Oh yes, Nigella for the catering and walking round looking gorgeous!

    Very interesting topic

  • If this takes a whole month out of the season, how on earth could we fit the other competitions in? Its already overcrowded. Start in February?

  • How about revamping the season slightly? Its my belief that this isn’t change for changes sake. It’s change because I believe it’s necessary.

  • AB. I totally appreciate your comments. My idea is exactly that. An idea. If people don’t think it’s workable then that’s ok. But one thing im pretty certain of is something like this (maybe not in this format) WILL happen.

    • I appreciate you sharing your idea Ian. But I have already heard about 300 extremely similar ideas on this topic, most of which, no offence, are based on an obviously limited understanding of the actual facts, and which turn out to be completely and utterly unworkable after about two minutes consideration of the financial or logistical implications.

      What we need is less “crazy ideas” and more actual, rational, sensible debate on the subject that is informed by a good grasp of the details. Of course, that actually takes real effort and a high level of understanding of both the specific nature of cricket in the UK and of the business of sports entertainment in general.

  • In many ways, its important to take a long term perspective here. The point of the T20 cup when it was first introduced was not to produce an elite England T20 team (there were no international T20 games at that point), the point was to provide a more accessible product that would allow cricket to reach out to a new, younger audience, to offer the counties some financial self-sustainability, and to expand cricket’s reach and safeguard its place as the premier national summer sport.

    12 years on, how has it done? Well the product is certainly good. I have been to 25-30 games in 6 different venues over the past 10 years and with the exception of one game (looking at you, Middlesex) the standard of cricket is really excellent and the games are often genuinely exciting. Statistically the 2014 T20 blast had higher average scores, a higher number of “big name players”, and a higher proportion of close finishes than the Big Bash. The comparative performances of Glenn Maxwell and Daniel Christian in the Natwest T20 blast compared to Pietersen, Stokes and Carberry in the Big Bash tells you all you need to know about the relative quality of the two tournaments.

    The crowds are very good, most of the games I have attended have been full houses, and certainly several other county venues around the country sell out every game. They’re also full of kids, something you don’t see so often in international games as you did 10 years ago, sadly.

    The cup has also offered sustainability to several clubs, particularly the non test match grounds where appetite for T20 seems the greatest, and this has made them less reliant on ECB handouts. Without the T20 cup, ALL the smaller clubs would be bankrupt by now, with the loss in jobs, fans, and academies (and hence future players) that that would result in.

    Unfortunately, this period of success for county cricket has coincided with some terrible mismanagement of cricket from the ECB, the worst decision of which was removing cricket from the national conscience with the sky deal. This has massively hampered the ability of clubs to attract fans and make revenue. Without that deal, the English T20 league could have been shown on a freeview channel for the past 10 years, and the visibility and popularity of cricket could have reached levels previously considered unimaginable.

    The ability of the counties to attract ever increasing crowds at the same time when overall cricket spectator and participant numbers are plummeting is really quite a miraculous success story.

    The necessity of the T20 cup as a means of showcasing professional cricket to as many possible fans as possible is more important now than it has ever been before. Contracting the cup, with less teams, less games, less venues, would inevitably and undeniably lead to less players, less fans, and ultimately less cricket.

  • I agree with you about showcasing T20 to as many younger fans as possible and in an ideal world all sport would be on free to view TV but the SKY deal that was offered meant that there was only one way the ECB were going to go and thats not going to change any time soon.

    If everything in English limited overs cricket is fine and dandy ( this includes T20 cricket) I look forward to seeing England outperforming the likes of India, New Zealand and Australia in the coming years. Shall we just be typically English, tweak it a tiny bit but ultimately do nothing as we always inevitably do because we don’t like or want to accept that we might need to change a little bit

    The emphasis HAS to be on the England team and the players the counties produce for the one day / 20/20 teams are NOT up to the standard to compete with the other nations. Thats a fact as shown at the World Cup and in my view thats not going to change anytime soon

    • The standard of players the counties produce is the equal of anything in the world. Just look at how many county cricketers score tons on their England debut. Just look at the outstanding quality of the cricketers we have produced over the past 15 years since the modernisation of the game.

      However, over the past 2-3 years the English national team has become a complete joke. They have an incompetent managing director, who appointed the wrong coach, and they have hopeless selectors who pick the wrong team. They use the wrong tactics, and they make interventions that make the players get worse year on year. This is NOT the fault of the county structure. The English national T20 team is so incompetently run, they would not make it out of the group stages of the Natwest T20 blast.

      I’ve heard from county players that there is a running joke about people being called into the squad and going to Loughborough for coaching as being the equivalent of a career ending injury.

      It is correct that you identify that the English team is current not up to the requisite standard. But the county system that produced the 2005 Ashes winners, the 2010 T20 world cup winners, and the number one ranked team in the world in all three disciplines in 2013 did not suddenly break overnight.100% of the blame should be placed at the door of the current administrators and coaches.

  • Sorry to say it but absolutely hate what has been put forward here. Existing cricket fans won’t want this and no way it would attract new fans. Back to the drawing board.

  • Doesn’t this guarantee the bankrupcy of the various counties? How is a county like Somerset or Gloucestershire who have no test ground going to survive with their 20/20 revenue taken away?

    This is the fundemental problem with franchise cricket. If you set it up and cherry pick the most profitable bits from the counties you leave many counties relying on 4 day cricket and ODI cricket for revenue.

    Also, I doubt very much you will get Lancashire and Yorkshire fans coming together as a new team/franchise. I understand the theory of merging local counties together for geographical reasons, but you are effectively bringing together many teams local rivals. You are going to have to attract a new audience. (This might be a good thing but how many people will you piss off?

      • I’ve heard that all the smaller counties will receive a substantial guaranteed lump sum, and share the revenue, in any potential city based franchise T20 competition. They see this as a positive because it’s guaranteed money, with no hosting / marketing fees.

        • In which cases the larger counties will go bust. You can’t take a quarter of the revenue and divide it around in a way that everyone wins, its mathematically impossible.

  • I like the idea (I’d want to see my own minor changes, of course).

    What some of the critics here don’t seem to have appreciate is the county T20 competition could continue – but we have an additional June T20 with invitees.

    As it is, we are watching the slow death of English cricket.

    Ultimately the goal should be getting some cricket back on free-to-air.

    • sounds like a horrible mess. you’re going to have to start playing in february to fit all these games in. Its completely unworkable.

    • I can’t see a county 20/20 competition being very attractive if this new system gets off and running, and when would it be played?

      The merging of Lanashire, Yorkshire and Durham means all 3 have a Test ground. Which one will they use if they are trying to build a franchise supporter base?

      I’m not against radical change, and it may well be that some counties will have to go to the wall. But the main role of the counties is to produce talent for England. Unlike Football, where the clubs are financially dominant cricket is reliant on revenue from the International game.

      I can’t see the owners of the franchises wanting to give money to compensate the counties. Surely that defeats the whole object of what is a capitalist venture.

      • If counties stop playing some cricket, surely it makes sense for them to stop playing the two forms of cricket that take the most time and no-one watches.

        “But the main role of the counties is to produce talent for England”

        Completely incorrect. The main role of the counties is to provide professional cricket for spectators to watch, nothing more and nothing less.

  • I think there is the possibility of two London teams and then add an 8th team which could be a guest team. Depending on the timing, the WI T20 teams could be an appropriate choice and would have the advantage of additional home games for the teams.

  • jesus. 50M people in the country and we can’t put out 198 high class sloggers ?? Rubbish. The issue ISN’T the current county games (LVCC, 2020 etc). The issue is with the administration, the coaching and most of all the ECB.

    The whole thing is poorly lead, poorly administered and is run with profit at the heart rather than the game. We have 50M+ In England alone, let alone Scotland, Ireland etc

    It’s very simple, the game has been driven down over the years in it’s popularity. Kids don’t grow up wanting to be Botham, Gooch, KP, Thorpe, Tresco, Flintoff, Warnes, McGraths, lee’s etc.. Why don’t they?? because they don’t get exposed to it, on tv, live, at school, uni etc etc

    we in this county have an elitist county set up and premier leagues. Until that is blown apart and all the old farts running things are cleaned out, cricket is back into state schools, on tv etc.. cricket is doomed and revamping it to crappy regional teams will do nothing to counter this.

    ECB should spend its money putting cricket back into schools, back into the national eye and long term.. you’ll have more players, more viewers and so, more quality at the top end eventually. Realistically, the current crop and the crop for the next 10-15 years are purely the best of the very few who had the chance to play at a private school. The rest making up LVCC teams are past it players who are here for cash and aren’t good enough anymore, or ‘county pro’s’ who will never be upto it and are stealing a living, or youth players who as stated, aren’t actually good enough really but due to the lack of quality around they have got contracts.. they also need firing

    and the coaches, adminstaff etc who have caused this/let it happen

    • All your comments are probably right but how do we get a domestic tournament where the best players play against the best players to packed grounds and give our domestic players exposure to high intensity, high pressured meaningful cricket so that when world 20/20s / world cups come round we don’t look like rabbits in the headlights and frankly barely capable of beating the best associate sides. Coz at the moment I wouldn’t back England to beat Ireland consistently at the moment and that’s a shocking admission of where we are at.

      Whatever anyone says we live in a commercial, money driven sports world now and cricket, along with practically all other sports will go with the BEST financial deal out there and at the moment that’s wiyh SKY.

      This proposal is simply what I said. A proposal. Something to create debate and discussion over an issue thats needed addressing.

      However what is not in dispute is the slipshod and mismanagement by the ECB over the last 2-3 years in particular. Poor communication, poor selection policy, KP affair couldn’t have been handled worse etc etc.

      Mine was just an idea to go along with all the other ideas that are floating around out there. Some will love, some will hate but what irratates me more than anything is cricket fans who are stuck in their English ways and won’t even consider that change maybe, just maybe , might be necessary for us to progress.

      We all want the same. England at the top of the tree in all formats. However, we may need to accept that the game has moved on massively and we haven’t moved with it

      • Just because I don’t think Franchises will work doesn’t mean I want it to be like it was in the past. If you re-read things, you’ll see that I say the issues are with declining participation and exposure. Without both, you basically have a population of support that is in terminal decline as people naturally leave the game (retire, die, find new things for various reasons).

        The game itself doesn’t really need changing, what needs changing is the administration, coaching and leadership of the game (ECB, Counties.. the lot). That way, more people seeing the game (tv etc), more people playing.. means more supporters.. more players to pick from.. more players you have, the higher the quality at the top!! higher the quality at the top.. boom, a strong england.

        I do agree however that something needs to change, I think transfers/loans should be possible. So, a player should be able to request a transfer if a club (say div 2 Glamorgan) isn’t what he wants, he can ask to move, the county can get some money for any star players rather than see them leave etc etc

        That’ about the only bit of football I’d bring in. Football is currently a commercial success but it’s got zero morals and tbh, I’d rather have a slightly poorer game but actually keep the tradition, history and moral high ground.

        Counties should encourage kids to attend games, give schools free tickets for day trips etc etc Over the summer holidays, let under 16’s in for free so that instead of hanging around teh park kicking a footy around, they can hang around the county grounds watching cricket. very simple things that won’t change much for 10 years, but will safeguard the game for the future. The England team, the professional game and the amateur game, all are equally important for the survival of cricket as a sport.

        anyone failing to see the importance of all three being strong, popular, highly participated in is basically, well.. an accountant and probably on the pay roll of a bank, the ECB or SKY.

      • “how do we get a domestic tournament where the best players play against the best players to packed grounds and give our domestic players exposure to high intensity, high pressured meaningful cricket ”

        We already have that for gods sake. You clearly never go and actually attend county cricket games.

  • I agree with AB more on this than the original plan put here. In the BB more than anything they got the TV right. Free to air, one match every day of the week and always starting at 7pm. In other words just after dinner when people want to watch it. The standard wasn’t especially high this year at there were a few test series going on st the time so there were no test players from any country playing. None of that seemed to matter though. get the TV coverage right should be the number one priority.

    • Agree about free to air TV but the free to air channels won’t offer as much as SKY so it will go to them as the ECB are money hungry

  • And you can’t compare the franchises made up to the BB ones most in the Bb are just rebranded state sides. The exceptions are Victoria and New South Wales which have been split into two. Otherwise you just have the Perth scorcers instead on western Australia and so on. The main point of the franchises is to let the players move around a bit more, fit in two extra sides plus some names from overseas. But it does not involvE merging sides

    • It isn’t going to be “merging” sides. It’s “buying” the best 4 players from each of the 3 sides that make up the regional outfit/ franchise or anything else. The counties would be recompensed for these players who probably would have been away on international duty.

      It’s designed to create a competition where the BEST players play against the BEST. It’s different that’s all and may just bring T20 to a new audience

  • I am not a big fan of EPL. Yet, for some reason, I believe this concept is going to be fruitful to the game and it’s going to be fun for the competitors. Where the teams churn up resources from, is going to be the key.

  • To be honest, the bottom line is that unless the sport is actually shown on television, it doesn’t matter what you do to rearrange the teams, rearrange the fixtures, because NO-ONE WHO IS NOT ALREADY A CRICKET FAN WILL EVEN NOTICE.

    • Is that really the best response you can come up with?

      Another poster explains carefully and patiently why your ideas are misinformed and poorly thought through, and the best thing you can say in your defence is to call him a troll. Not really a ringing endorsement of your ideas, is it?


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