This isn’t the nadir yet. But it’s fast approaching.

Well, it’s safe to say that Adelaide didn’t exactly go to plan. England got everything wrong. We bowled too short (despite possessing two experienced bowlers with over a thousand Test wickets), we batted poorly, we caught poorly, and we selected very poorly. It was pretty much a typical England Test performance. 

So where does the post mortem begin? There has been much gnashing of teeth over Chris Silverwood and Joe Root’s strategy – and quite rightly so – but in the end we probably would have lost anyway. Why? Because Australia are simply better than us in their own conditions. There’s no avoiding the truth. England’s squad is probably the worst we’ve sent down under since 1994.

Although David Warner is all at sea in England, it’s plain sailing for him on flat Australian decks. Meanwhile, although the likes of Travis Head lose their head when presented with archetypal county pitches – Sussex fans will tell you all about that – he’s still good enough to score runs in his own backyard. At the end of the day, he’s really not that bad.

Meanwhile, Australia’s two legitimate batting superstars, Loose Bus Change and Sandpaper Smudge, have made telling contributions for their team. England’s big guns, on the other hand, haven’t translated promising starts into something match-defining.

Joe Root continues to look good without converting 50s into 100s – which has sadly been the story of his career in Australia – while Ben Stokes looks a shadow of his buccaneering self. I expected some rust but his body looks like it’s creaking. One senses that another injury is just around the corner.

As for the bowling, it’s chalk versus cheese. England’s attack crumbles under pressure (and has too many wickets chalked off for no-balls) whilst the Aussie pace bowlers look very tasty indeed. And why wouldn’t they? Australian supporters must be licking their lips when they see the techniques of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed.

Neither of England’s openers looks capable of churning out scores consistently down under thus far. And as for Ollie Pope, what the hell has happened to him? He currently looks completely confused over how to construct a Test innings. It’s not a good look for the England coaches. Only Dawid Malan, who has only recently come back into the fold, has exceeded what were admittedly low expectations.

The only other good news so far – and I admit this is probably subjective – is that whilst some defeats in Oz have really stung, I’m actually pretty ‘meh’ about this one. Defeat just doesn’t seem to matter as much. England’s pathetic performances are just another symptom of a much deeper and existential malaise.

The bottom line is this. We beseeched the ECB to make the changes necessary to help England become competitive down under when we back lost in 2016. But they completely ignored us. In fact, they made it even worse by doubling down on other priorities: winning the ODI World Cup and setting up The Hundred, for example. This defeat was therefore a price they were perfectly happy to pay. And we all saw it coming a mile off.

It’s exactly the same story, by the way, whenever we get hammered in India, too. Sure, the ECB would ‘like’ to win Test series overseas. But they’re not the slightest bit interested in making the changes necessary. They’d rather be known for setting up sexy new vanity projects than actually fostering a competitive domestic game that produces good Test sides (as county cricket did very nicely for a decade between 2002 and 2012).

Consequently, I’ve found it very hard to get emotionally invested in this series. Test cricket is supposed to be the pinnacle of the game. And the Ashes is supposed to be the pinnacle of the pinnacle. That’s what made it special. But it can hardly be the pinnacle anymore if one of the participants isn’t particularly bothered about winning it. Basically, if the ECB doesn’t particularly care anymore then why should we? They can’t be invested in it, as they’ve invested so little in it. So why should I spend my time watching a subpar group of England players who have been set up to fail?

So what’s going to happen next? Unless the weather intervenes, or Root manages to score a double century at some point, a 0-5 defeat seems inevitable. Australia can sense it, England can sense it, and the Aussie public senses it, too. If you bet on Australian cricket down under then you’ll know that a whitewash is pretty much the expected outcome now.

The thing that matters now, of course, is what the reaction to this defeat will be back home. Will Root stand down? Is Silverwood toast? Will anyone at the ECB accept responsibility? I really don’t know. The only thing I’m certain about it that Tom Harrison will enjoy his big fat bonus for setting up The Hundred whilst completely ignoring the fact that he’s set up those of us who love Test and first class cricket for a fall.

When it comes to scapegoats, there’s no Kevin Pietersen type figure to blame this time so I expect that Silverwood might be fed to the wolves. Would I feel sympathy for him? Yes I would. Even Duncan Fletcher would’ve struggled to get a better yield from the current crop of players. But then again, it’s hard to deny that Silverwood has been awful and simply made matters even worse through poor selection and bad man management of certain players.

The sad reality is that nobody in England’s team has actually progressed on Silverwood’s watch. People forget that Leach took 12 wickets at 26 in the last Ashes series. It looked like we’d finally found a respectable Test spinner. But he’s been managed very poorly since and now looks to have regressed (certainly when it comes to confidence). Meanwhile, as mentioned above, Ollie Pope has had a chastening time despite his prodigious talent. The management have to take some responsibility for that.

And then we come to Root. I’d love Joe to stand down and focus on his batting. He’s an adequate captain at best, even though the players clearly like him and he’s a good bloke. But there really is nobody to replace him. The alternatives are worse now than they’ve ever been. Burns has gone backwards, Buttler still can’t fulfil his potential, and Stokes can’t stay fit. I really don’t know what the answer is.

I just hope, above hope, that this time enough people point the finger at who’s really to blame: Tom Harrison and his motley crew. Normally administrators can hide away and weather the storm. This time, however, the storm might actually be strong enough to blow the whole house down. At least I hope so.

James Morgan


  • Well I agree James. Maybe the storm that may eventually blow the ECB down will be if the Sports Minister decided that their reaction to the Yorkshire mess is not on, and appoint an interim body. At least it would get rid of Harrison and his cronies.

    As for what’s left of the England “Test” team: Well if there were enough suitable replacements I’d dump most of them bar Root, Stokes (just), Malan, Robinson and Anderson (just). But there isn’t, so at least Foakes would be in and Livingstone who seems to me to be able to adapt his game. And I’d add Parkinson who seems to me out best spinner option. I see people are baying for Bairstow, Crawley and Lawrence back. Mmm. All failures I’m 😨 afraid at this level.

    Root says retrospectively they bowled too short. As he’s the captain, well that’s debatable, why did he not instruct them in the field? Or is it that Anderson and grumpy Broad just do what they like regardless? Either way it’s time for a kick-ass captain and coach. Australia’s bowlers were on average 20/k an hour faster than our our pie throwers anyway.
    Like James, I don’t know all the answers, but I do know that whatever happens this week, this series has gone.

  • How about this as a solution? Put the ECB suits on average salary and link all bonuses to the performance of the Test team. It’s not exactly a difficult solution to come up with – so why isn’t it done? Because tanking Test cricket is wanted. Tanking a beloved brand usually starts with turning it into garbage so there isn’t so much lamentation over its demise and that’s what we’ve been seeing since about 2015. I doubt the series will be played to its Fifth Test completion.

    The strategy England have been using to paper over the cracks – very home-friendly pitches – has ultimately played out like it has on the other boards who’ve employed it. At least WI, SL, Bangladesh and SA had a poverty excuse but the ECB don’t. They destroy the ability of their batsmen to build Test innings and of their bowlers to take wickets in conditions that don’t seam/swing/spin sideways. It’s also allowed the introduction of de facto 4 day Tests, something we know most boards want but can’t get past India.

    As for the team for the MCG, it’ll be interesting in that it will show how low expectations are. Is a meaningless second innings 30 good enough to keep you in the team? I’d like to see Hameed retained not because I haven’t got massive doubts about him but because at least something will be learnt (by him and by us) and he did cop two difficult balls in Adelaide (one that stopped and one that reared). Pope needs to be sent away for a couple of years – like Gooch was in ’75 or Hussain in ’90. There’s no shame in that and he’s still only 23. I’d rest Robinson who looked like he needs it (and give him a rocket about working on his fitness) and if they drop Woakes as they should then presumably they have to play Bess or Overton because otherwise the tail looks horrendous. Finally, there’s the great unknown of what’s going on with Stokes’ knee – it’s clearly troubling him and please tell me they aren’t masking it with cortisone….

    • You make some great points there, Simon. I was particularly interested in the one about Robinson. I agree that he doesn’t look fit enough. Sure, he doesn’t appear to be a natural athlete, a bit like Angus Fraser, but would other regimes have picked him when he can’t sustain 130kph for more than a session or two? I sense that Duncan Fletcher or even Andy Flower might have done a Samit Patel on him and sent him back to county cricket until he can increase his stamina. I like Robinson as a bowler but he does seem like a bit of a throwback.

  • A very brave article, James.
    I’m waiting with trepidation of Tortured Tom’s comments.
    I agree with all you say about the incompetent organisation which I should love to see sent to hell with ALL the personnel who do not have test cricket in their hearts. They seem intent on having control over everything related to cricket and would like to see the end of many of the 18 counties in order to make franchises so they can get all the revenue.
    Do people like Strauss forget where they learned their trade? It was in the County Championship, not at the IPL, Big Bash or any other white ball competition.

  • Fiddling about with the administration is not the answer. They are professional cricketers for God’s sake. Pitch it up. Practice catching. Watch the ball. I learnt that when I was eight.
    Peter Drake
    teacher Hexham

  • Excellent article as usual James. I do wonder about your comment on Jos Buttler’s unfulfilled potential though. He’s 31, has played 55 test matches and averages 32.81 with the bat (marginally better than his first class average). I won’t even mention his wicket keeping. Surely the time has come for the selectors to accept that there is no prospect of him achieving his apparent potential and he is simply not a test match batsman (he’s never looked like a test wicket keeper). It’s not entirely his fault – failure to progress must be partly a failure of coaching and environment. However he chooses white ball cricket(and the money that goes with it) over developing his first class skills. Is it unfair of me to suggest that he should accept his limitations and step down? At least this would give us a test class wicket keeper (although Silverwood would no doubt pick Bairstow!).

  • Honestly, the annoying thing about this series is that England have been so abysmal that it’s taking some of the sheen off Australia’s victory.

    And now we’ve got James playing dead and hiding behind the sofa.

  • I think, considering the realistic and pretty low expectations most of us had beforehand we have played 2 games and got precious little in the way of rub of the green in either. Yes we probably bowled too short this game but Anderson and Broad both looked competitive with the new ball and the early Aussie batting looked a sight more vulnerable in both games than their 1st innings scores suggest. It’s the bottom half of their order that’s been the key to taking both games away from us. It’s a lot easier to bowl when you’re not under pressure.
    Foakes needs to come in for Buttler and a n other for Pope, but options are limited. To me there’s no point selecting players and not playing them when your 1st choices aren’t performing.

  • Joe Root blaming the bowlers in the media – what a tosser !. He should be removed from captain. He hasn’t a clue. England have been totally crap since he took over as captain. He hasn’t a clue. No leadership, no tactics, no strategy. What a complete and utter loser.

    • Yes, the batting’s been poor but we didn’t really expect anything else, did we, given the modest records of our top six, with the one glowing exception, and the strange case of Stokes, who doesn’t seem to have a middle gear between first and sixth. It’s as if he’s trying to reprise his Headingley 2019 epic every time he goes to the crease. Block for three hours and then let fly. Along with Root’s valiant efforts, Malan scored 100 runs at Adelaide and can be absolved of any blame, but, like Burns, his technical deficiencies are clear to all, and the Aussies will work him over soon enough. Hameed and Pope are boys playing against men. No one’s at fault for picking them: there simply aren’t credible alternatives.

      But I agree with Root’s frustrated comments about the bowlers. On the first evening, with the new ball playing tricks and the lights fully on, Anderson and Broad bowled the last two overs. Only ONE of those twelve deliveries needed to be played. Unforgiveable. In Broad’s newspaper column at the weekend, he defended the short-pitched attack by arguing that “otherwise, our economy rates would have been shot to pieces”, or words to that effect. (It was in the Mail on Sunday, so he mightn’t have said anything of the sort) but for a few years now I’ve sensed that our sainted opening duo are more intent on keeping their economy rate at about two an over than pitching the ball up, giving it a chance to swing, and risk being driven in the ‘V’ and conceding a few runs. Yes, Anderson is an artist at 82mph and Broad has hot spells, but one of the most telling stats I’ve read is that in 2021, Broad has taken 12 Test wickets and Joe Root 14! Meanwhile, Jimmy has been swinging and moving the ball less than his opposite numbers: Boult and Southee, Bumrah and Shami, Starc and Cummings etc.

      At the end of the first day in Adelaide, Australia were 221 for two. Broad wrote in his column that he thought he and his bowling unit had done rather well, on the grounds that if the team who wins the toss and bats has only lost two wickets at close of play, their score would be nearer 321 than 221. Agreed Stuart, but we’d much prefer it if they were something like 270 for six or seven, if only you’d worried less about economy rates and more about trying to get a few of them out. And so, with plenty of batting left in the hutch on Day Two, Australia took advantage of a tiring attack and declared at 473 for nine. When will the economy merchants ever learn?

  • Remember England don’t leak?

    Blame shifted from senior bowlers; Stokes/Buttler established as fearless truthtellers in the dressing room i.e. captains in waiting; coach established as not too laissez-faire; batsmen who won’t be needed in white-ball marketing thrown under bus. Lovely. What’s that Steve Archibald quote again?

    In an over/under on the time of the first batsman dismissed at the MCG not playing a shot, I’m taking the under.

  • There still seem to be people who think the ECB are going to re-focus on Test cricket and that it just needed a jolt like these poor perfomances to bring that about. Obviously I mean a real re-focus and not just empty verbiage.

    That waking up is going to be painful…

  • The usual English misunderstanding of the facts.

    They seem to doubt David Warner because of one series.
    He has a higher test average than any English opening batsman of the last 50 years.

    His test average in England is over 26….significantly better than most English openers
    manage in Australia.

    And he scores runs as an opener faster than almost any opening batman in history.

    Wouldnt England like to develop some opening batsmen who could even get near his record!

    • You’re absolutely wrong about Warner in England being better than most English openers in Australia. The only ones in almost forty years who have averages more than a fraction of a run worse than Warner’s (and most of their averages are significantly better) are the ones on this tour….whcih was one of the points James was getting at I think. No-one’s pretending that Crawley is as good an opener as Warner!

  • Where to start….. So many things are broken but the vast majority have been said for many many years in the last 8 years. Many people on this forum, other forums, media, local leagues etc have continually ranted about ‘intent’ ‘strike rate’ ‘positive brand of cricket’ ‘play their way’ etc etc.

    The simple truth is no matter how much you love 2020 slogging is… County/ECB have prioritised white ball since the late 2000’s. This isn’t a new thing at 2015!! There is a reason all the current crop of great white ballers are late 20’s early 30’s and younger. Each season since then not only has White ball move further and further away from red ball skills (far easier to turn a red ball quality player into a white ball player than the reverse) but counties have actively picked kids, trained it’s youth and then so pro’s in white ball primarily and then just thrown them in to red ball as , well.. they have to.

    Yes the schedule hasn’t helped at all and yes, the latest 100 won’t help either but neither are really to blame. It’s the fundemental shift AT ALL LEVELS (amateurs remember have moved from draw cricket (red ball skills) to win lose limited overs cricket (white ball) at the same time. Skill levels at pro and amateur level’s have dramatically declined (not just england here, around the world) , participation is dropping even though local leagues, Counties and the ECB keep saying that white ball will save it.. It won’t.. No one will start as a kid and keep playing short format cricket for 20 years.. it’s bloody boring to play for the majority as it’s obvious early doors who will win and no one actually enjoys getting slogged most weeks so walk away.

    The ECB of course are to blame, Silverwood.. well.. the guy is on crack or something… Harrison needs to be fired BEFORE the end of the tour, along with the coaching team, coach and Giles. The players… well.. they simply don’t care, lack fight but more importantly.. they can’t even be bothered to try and save a test match.. today they had 3 days.. yes, 3 days to bat to ensure they firstly, couldn’t lose and secondly, could try and win… they went for slogging cricket , sorry.. ‘intent’.. ‘positive brand of cricket’ ‘pressure on the bowler’.. jesus.. the pressure wasn’t on england!! if Root and stokes had batted even just for 50 runs for 2 sessions Australia would have been massively under the pump.. not on the score but they would be knackered , into 3/4th spells and starting to panic.. keep going into day 4 and more pressure on australia.. etc etc… instead, they went out with a white ball mentality and paid the price.. yet again. Sipmly put.. Root is THE ONLY test match batsmen. No, Stokes isn’t. I know he’s the messiah for you guys but he’s just not THAT good. He can play a good knock but he’s not a test match batter. He’s an all roudner, bat at 7/8 only!!! Bowling is OK, not too bad… not great but not too bad

    There is NOTHING in County Cricket to replace any of these batters with. All the pro’s and people in the pathways are simply white ball players and too crap to play red ball. Harsh I’m sure on little jimmy who is in the x county academy since 12 and is now 19 but hey.. they’ll have spent their entire ‘career’ playing white ball, coached for white ball, mentality of see ball hit ball.. strike rate. etc

    Amateur cricekt wise.. all counties are getting worse but the reason Aus (for example) are still able to at leats produce some quality is their amateur cricket. They still effectively play red ball every saturday unlike england who have decided ‘its too boring’. It’s not boring at all, it’s far more interesting to play and watch and there is always something to play for.. unlike white ball. Until england go back to draw cricekt at amateur level I can’t see england producing decent red ball batters as you won’t get anyone at pro level to actually pick from.. you’ll be picking youth based on .. yep… white ball still…. which is totally wrong

    silverwood should be fire.. immediately .. any runs or wins in the last two games are meaningless and beating a dire WI, SA, SL, Bang, Ire or Pakistan team in the coming feww years is… well.. meaningless again.. they are crap teams, worse than this sorry state of a team… it’s purely a stats filler and will paper over the cracks.

    We ‘fans’ have to also shoulder a massive amount of blame.. We have allowed them to fob us off with white ball cricket, we have swallowed the PR rubbish every game from players/coaches/Media etc.. we love to claim our players are great after a small purple patch or good knock.. We aren’t willing to be honest with anyone.. stokes being a massive example.. people rave about him but if you are honest… he avg’s 36 for a reason!!!!!!

    So so so much needs changing and the ECB won’t do it. Test cricket in general will keep declining and cricket will never die but it will keep shrinking. Eventually the SKY/BT’s of this world will stop paying top dollar for rights as less and less people will be watching. I mean, there are more people watching the live streams of county 4 day red ball games (which apparently no one likes btw) than watch Sky for england white ball games…. says it all really!!! Take at look at the comments this forum, any forum, BBC, twitter gets after a test game, series and after days like today… compare that to BBL, Blast or ANY white ball game/series.. you’ll notice a huge difference.. people carea bout red ball.. they care about test cricket.. they don’t really care at all about 2020/odi’s.. it’s a nice thing for a friday night social beers.. but it’s not something you remember or are inspired by.

    • The white ball limited over cricket format is in some ways predicated on the same basis as pornography. It is designed to provide instant gratification to the paying viewer but at the same time to be instantly forgettable and disposable so that the punter needs to come back for more. The elevation of slogged sixes to be the pinnacle of the sport is its version of the money shot. In fact no surprise that one of the competitions is called the Big Bash which in a Freudian way indicates its subliminal function as a sporting form of masturbation. The fact that the ECB have promoted this to the extent it is now the elite format of the game says everything about their motivation.

      • To be frank Vince and Denly are better than the current top order. Not great, but they will likely get you a couple of 30s which is worth a 100 to this shower. What’s wrong with actually trying out some one else? You’ll never know, they just could be better. i.e. Livingstone who can play both formats, Abell, Banton, Foakes for fucks sake! Parkinson, Moriaty and Virdi are better than Leach or Bess. Mahmood is surely worth a run.
        You just came keep churning out this lot time and time again. The Aussies had tremendous team spirit compared to England’s sour faces.
        This is now rock bottom and in case anyone hasn’t noticed, it’s Armageddon out their as is said above. 6000 hits alone on the BBC. Silverwood should be sacked now and Root resign as captain. Give it to Uncle Tom Cobley, I don’t care.
        But the one I feel sorry for is Anderson who bowled his heart out. Pushing 40 he made all the England bowlers look like pie throwers, which they are. Even Wood, yes he’s quick but does nothing with the ball. If I were Jimmy, I’dforget going out in a blaze of glory which rarely happens, and retire right now. He’s got nothing to prove and needs to disassociate himself from the dying embers of English Cricket.

        • You are as most are.. missing entirely the point.

          The entire system is flawed and broken. It has been for 15 years so this isn’t to do with the 100 really (although, that is a symptom), it isn’t that Root isn’t a good capt.. it isn’t even silverwood or Harrison (although, both the later two should have been fired on the spot after the loss of the 3rd test).

          Swapping a few players or coaches out won’t make a blind bit of difference. YOu say x can play both formats.. No they can’t!! there is a reason all these players avg 30’s or less in test cricket.. they are capable of wonder innings and flash in teh pan purple patches (bairstow, stokes, even Buttler) but they can’t bat consistently well across different styles of grounds, wickets and with longevity.

          The problems are massive and would take a total over haul of all the system from the lowest league in the land to the highest. There is no doubt it won’t happen at all and many of you are perfectly happy to go along with the narrative the ECB and media push out on white ball and how great the likes of Bairstow, Buttler, Curran, Stokes et all are.. The fact remains.. we have 4 test class players currently and that’s it.. We have Root, Broad, Anderson and Wood.. The rest, simply aren’t good enough to command a spot if we were in any way in decent shape. You will all shout ‘Stokes’.. sure, he had a good purple patch but he avg’s 36!!! 36….. that isn’t good.. certainly isn’t good for someone lauded as a test class , sorry WORLD CLASS test batsmen.. jesus, we had someone avg’ing 40 at 7 not too long ago!!! sure, stokes is a decent 7 or 8 but he’s not in all seriousness a top 6 batter.. that’s just the weakness of our game.

          We have too much white ball cricket , too many people involved in every amateur club, amateur league, county patheways, county anything all the way up to the ecb… ALL of you are to blame as you are part of the problem. Are you vocally arguing to produce red ball players over white ball??? you won’t be… are you saying amateurs should be playing AT A BARE MINIMUM draw cricket but ideally 2 day games… YOU WON’T BE… you will be saying ‘oh but kids love white ball… Kids don’t lvoe white ball.. they get bored of it and leave the game!! participation is down, and it’s not due to formats.. it’s simply due to less people playing and people have different things they choose to do at weekends now.. Can’t help or stop that! Skill levels are certainly down in amateur (andn Pro!!) level cricket.. just look at the very very very bang average players getting paid at local level now.. look at hte bang average ‘county’ players playing for glamorgan, northants, derbyshire, leicestershire, gloucestershire et all… very very very average players who are all white ball focused stealing a living..

          Formats.. to many.. IF we all accept that 100/2020 (don’t care which) has to stay because it is good at getting crowds in for beers, really young kids do have short attention spans and it is very good for friday evenings… then we simply MUST get rid of 50 over cricket.. Before you all cry… what does 50 Over cricket achieve now?? It’s a glorified 2020 slog fest now isn’t it?? (answer is yes btw)… it’s a bunch of 2020 players (roy, hales, bairstow, buttler!!) playing 2020 innings .. the ONLY difference… you can afford ONE.. yes just one… root type.. apart from that.. it’s just a 2020.. so, to free up space.. lets just knock that format on it’s head..


          Amateur Leagues
          Play 2 day games in the top 5 divisions of whatever structure you are in. Start time 11 max 110 overs in a day. Bat twice, massive points for winning if you bat first… a lot less for batting second and a good points haul for drawing. This will raise the quality of players playing cricket for sure and produce batsmen able to adapt to different situatoins and it also forces bowling units to TAKE wickets .. not just wait for gifts.. anything lowe than that, goes to one day games.. 50 overs a side, draw cricket… similar pts as above.. you get loads for batting first and winning, a lot less for batting second and winning.. from say 9th division down just play 45 over win lose ..

          AT THE SAME TIME, run a 2020 comp on saturdays based around astro at schools, leisure centres . You don’t need expensive subs, ground maintensance then… just rock up, couple of spring stumps out… white ball.. go. keep it quick, fast and cheap. this can be run by local leagues too as a more casual competition for clubs to enter a side for their more casual players or players who really do want to play 2020/100 only.

          You’ve just created a format for everyone whilst not compromising hte main aim of raising standards and improving red ball… 2020/100 on astro is fine as it’s flat.. easy to slog on and most of all.. cheap to put on.. no grounds are needed which removes costs!

          Pro level..

          Play a 4 day game every week.. Monday to Friday and it MUST all be Streamed live for free. These feeds are watched by a lot of people . have 3 divisions and the 3rd division has relegation! yes.. those minor counties can actually get promoted from their leagues (these sides MUST demonstrate All their players play saturday league cricket week in week out in their domestic structure to qualify).. that way, you force counties to not want to lose! .. TV rights for test cricket are sold and then split between all the counties equally with bounties for those winning the leagues.

          Friday and Saturday Evenings are 2020/100 evenings (btw, all this should have a female equivalent comp too at pro level.. local level everyone can play together).. Sunday’s are a day off to rest but I expect counties to end up with pretty much a squad for red ball and a few 2020 specialists.

          The Money for int cricket shouldn’t be split with counties for 2020/100, that’s for red ball only. The local counties though get to keep gate receipts, beer takings and so can make the money there for their 2020/100 specialists.

          England wise.. again.. just accept 2020/100 is different to tests and split the whole thing.. training, coaching, management and players. Pay the red ballers the most by a mile and make 2020 a living but not a golden goose.

          at County level… don’t be picking kids for county until they are 15. Make counties have to work with clubs to produce internal pathways and get these good kids playing saturday league cricket in the highest leagues and proving themselves… Only then should they be even allowed to play for county squads or 2xi cricket… Make playing saturday local 2 day games HOW you get selected for county teams.. make the pro’s play these two (especially those not in the 1xi red ball teams!!)..

          Will it work.. probably not as it won’t make white ball lovers happy but it will ensure that there is a format for red ball, format for white ball and both systems are replicated at pro and amateur levels.. that way, you actually can choose to be a red ball player or white ball.


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