April 29, 2010

English cricket

How should county cricket be reorganised?

Andrew Miller

The future shape of English first-class cricket will be decided in the coming days, as the ECB mulls over a consultation document in which are outlined five proposals of varying degrees of radicalism.

With the summer schedule already filled to the brim, something is going to have to give, and one way or another, that something seems certain to be the County Championship.

How, though, will it be restructured? To have your say, go to The Guardian, which is conducting a poll, the results of which will be published in the near future. The various options are outlined below:

  • A Premier Division of eight teams and Division One split into two regional pools of five teams, with the sides playing each other twice, making a total of 14 matches.

  • Retain the present system of two divisions of nine, but with reduced games. Just accept that there is no time for each county to play the others twice and get on with it.

  • Three conferences of six teams each with end-of-season play-offs. No promotion and relegation and no top division, with sides drawn randomly.

  • Three divisions of six, but with matches played over five days to replicate Test cricket

  • The addition of three minor counties to expand the first-class counties to 21. This would enable them to be split into three divisions of seven with one-up, one-down, reducing matches to 12 games.

    Plenty food for thought, so click here to cast your vote, and have your say.


  • Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine

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