Today we have an important message from Alan Higham of the Lancs Action Group. They’re organising a campaign to resist the impending changes to the county championship. Anyone can get involved, whoever you support, simply by filling in their short survey below. Every little helps so please help! County Cricket Matters and other publications / blogs are doing their bit so I’d love TFT readers to contribute as well. Thanks.
The ECB, fans, counties, players and the media all agree that the cricket schedule is a mess. There are too many games and too many formats asking too much of the players, spectators and the ground staff!
The schedule was always challenging but since the Hundred was added last year, it is simply ridiculous. The easy solution to just remove the Hundred won’t even be mentioned so what is being considered by the ECB big-wigs amidst Strauss’s “High Performance Review”?
Multiple media reports suggest a drop from 14 to 10 first class county matches is a favoured option. That would leave county fans just 5 home first class matches a year, probably in April and September.
Next year’s Ashes Tests are due to complete before the end of July. Are they really going to schedule no first class cricket at all to speak of during the school summer holidays? What a disgrace if they do!
Hence, I’m organising a grassroot campaign to give cricket fans a say before it is too late. County members own 15 of the 18 counties. We have until the end of September to gather together enough people to say no to any further reductions in the first class game. Otherwise, the counties will just decide it all quietly during October/November whilst we are worrying about our fuel bills.
Across the counties, fans are handing out leaflets and sharing the survey online to gather support to insist that their county respects their views and states its position on the schedule before the season ends.
Every cricket fan can give their view in the short survey below. You don’t have to be a member but we would like to know if you are.
There can be no doubt that the present ECB structure is planning a takeover of the professional game. It’s bullying tactics have been blatant. It needs sensible compromise to preserve a working balance that incorporates red and white ball formats. The cash cow invariably leads to monopolies, always a bad thing. My personal view is the game needs to be run by ex players who understand the practicalities of the modern game and care about it at all levels and in all it’s guises. Yes involve marketing men and businessmen but only in an advisory capacity not an executive one. It’s like letting accountants run a business, one eyed.
The whole structure of English Cricket needs reviewing by an outside body independent of the ECB shop keepers and bankers.
The 1st Counties need to set up their own governing body and bypass the ECB, sorry the Exterminating Cricket Board, completely. The ECB doesn’t own the grounds, the club’s do. Time to stick it up them!
Actually it’s high time for a Packer style revolution.
Surely the last thing we want is further fragmentation of the game with another marketing gimmick.
Alan, thank you very much for this. I can’t see the link to the survey though–would it be possible (for you or someone else) to post it BTL as well?
Hi Ian. Here’s a link to the Lancs Action Group Page. Hopefully the form will appear clearly for you there https://lancsactiongroup.com/save-1st-class-cricket
It has been increasingly clear for years now that the change from TCCB to ECB was much more than just titular. Many of the current problems derive from the fact that the Counties have ceded more and more power to the ECB for years, an organisation who has no real commitment to the County game or structure, other than as providers for their revenue streams of Test match cricket and the Hundred. In fact, the ECB is in many areas, in direct financial competition with the Counties. What is needed is a structure and mentality at the ECB which genuinely wants to work with the Counties for the good of the game or a Premier League style revolt by the Counties to achieve the same thing. My personal view is that the ECB is so deeply flawed that reform will not be easy. A Packer style revolution, although welcome, is, I think unlikely, as the media rights are firmly in the hands of the ECB.
“an organisation who has no real commitment to the County game or structure”.
They’re quite committed to destroying it!
The ECB is clearly out of touch and is run by buffoons, reducing county matches would be a recipe for disaster just because they want to put the hideous hundred which is the dumbest format.
Whatever happened to tradition? Money is evil. I know it makes the world go round but this is pure greed. The rich counties will get richer and trample roughshod over the smaller counties.
How boring it will be playing the same opposition numerous times year after year. The beauty of the county championship is it’s variance and diversity.
Hope this has some effect, but I have my doubts.
For several years it has been obvious the ECB have wanted to reduce the number not just of Championship matches but counties. The proliferation of limited over, so called one day matches, which contract out of the Laws of the Game have destroyed the real thing as the game had been prostituted. I didn’t attend the Lord’s Test, won’t be going to the South Africa match there and have given up not having seen a single ball bowled this season. Playing in April, September was always senseless, an expedient to facilitate knockabout stuff. In passing, it’s been good to hear of anti social behaviour at some grounds, the ECB getting what it deserved. Alas, there is no saving the Championship. I doubt that the players care, so much money to be made in franchise “cricket”.