News, interviews and features from the English County game.

Are the Lions killing county cricket?

George Dobell talks about the negative effect the Lions matches can have on English cricket when they are played mid-season.

Producer: Jarrod Kimber

May 10, 2013

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (May 13, 2013, 13:28 GMT)

It gives a chance for a young player, yes - but that is what the county second eleven is for. The county teams, like all cricket clubs, have one objective - to win their league. They don't exist 'purely for the national team', in fact they predate the national team by a long time. Apart from big series like the Ashes, SA, and India, plus the ICC one day and T20 tournaments, no one remembers the results of internationals - every cricket follower remembers the last time their team won the CC though!

Posted by MothMan on (May 11, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

@Optic Warwks were missing all of their first choice pace attack, 2 being injured and 2 being on Lions duty - so it was created by equally by both. Having Bell and Trott only helped in that Trott could fill in for a few overs with his medium pace which was used more than it should have been against a side of Midd quality.

I think the frustration would have been reduced had Woakes been made available in the context of those injuries, and that he has certainly played enough Lions matches for England to know enough about him by now. The ECB thought fit to make Finn available for Midd because he hadn't played well enough in the 2 matches he was allocated so far this season so they can be flexible when they want

Maximimum6's suggestion of a 2 selections limit per county would be a sensible solution, I think there is a place for the Lions matches during the season but more thought in players selected and being responsive to situations and the matches they are affecting wouldn't go amiss

Posted by Optic on (May 11, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

The Lion is a great idea and it's great seeing how some of the younger guys go against Test sides. Maybe we could limit the number of players from each County to 2 but really don't see the problem and that's coming from a Yorkshire member. Warks problems were more brought on due to their injuries and they also got to have both bell & Trott in their side. Ask the players who are picked whether it's a waste of time, I bet I know the answer. @Paul Foster Lets be right, where would County cricket be without team England and the Sky money, I'd hate to think because it certainly doesn't make enough money from first class cricket and very little from the one day stuff. The better team England do the better the Counties do and obviously vise versa. @yorkshire-86 Oh great & bringing overseas players in is you're answer. Limiting the overseas players is what made England improve imo. Also if someone gets picked for England it gives a chance for a young player to prove himself, it's how it works.

Posted by   on (May 11, 2013, 10:02 GMT)

shows how little you understand about the English game Darren.

Posted by   on (May 10, 2013, 22:57 GMT)

The lions are a brilliant idea and long they may continue. County cricket is purely here to produce English Internationals and nothing else.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (May 10, 2013, 22:09 GMT)

Maybe the selectors should limit the number of players they take from a single county and spread the load around more-after all there are probably enoughplayers for 2 Lions' teams. Also they could be cleverer about fixtures and organise the game against the second tourists of the year during a swathe of t20 games instead of CC games. I agree largely with GD about the championship's primacy , and wish they could play fewer CC games in April and May, when the weather questionable to say the least.

Posted by   on (May 10, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

George is being unrealistic. Everyone wants to get a lions spot. They can get a county spot any day.

Posted by   on (May 10, 2013, 20:38 GMT)

George speaks sense. Chopra for instance (despite only making 4) would have got more out of a workout against Finn than against a New Zealand attack no matter who the Kiwis play in their attack.

Posted by yorkshire-86 on (May 10, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

There is a way to solve this. Reduce the money given flat-rate to counties, and redistribute it solely based on the number of players in the England and Lions squads. Also for every player picked for the senior or Lions squad, every game missed the county is given FIVE TIMES his weekly salary by the ECB, and allowed to employ an extra OVERSEAS player for the duration of his tenure with England or the Lions. A county with a player centrally contracted gains an extra overseas slot (and the renumeration) for the entire season. The county winning the CC should represent the one that has the best players, not the one who signs players that are good but not good enough for international cricket, retired but still playing first class cricket, or found to be a total and utter failure at the top level. For example, why should Surrey have gained hugely from the runs of Ramprakash (a total international failure), but Essex gain nothing from nurturing Cook (England captain, averages 50)?

Posted by Herbet on (May 10, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

I agree with George. The Lions should play only in the English off season, they have time for two tours and that's plenty effectively as a way of ensuring top level cricket all year round for 'the next generation' of players. This obviously isn't needed during the season. The Counties lose anyone as soon as they become half decent, and that takes the incentive away and encourages the signings of Kolpaks and seasoned journeymen who will be around all season. I also don't think the Lions should pick players who are already in the test team, like Root and Bairstow. Yorkshire have developed two excellent young players but won't see much of them for the rest of their careers.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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