County news February 2, 2015

Morris waves aside Blast critics

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hugh Morris, the former ECB managing director and now overseeing operations at Glamorgan, has waved aside criticism of the NatWest Blast and insisted the counties should persevere with the new domestic T20 tournament rather than switch to a city-based franchise competition.

As Kevin Pietersen commits a full season of the Caribbean Premier League, leaving his partial involvement in the NatWest T20 Blast uncertain, Morris has claimed the second summer of the Blast, which is largely staged over three months on a Friday night, can succeed if people keep the faith.

"The ECB are intent on giving the revamped NatWest T20 Blast tournament a go over the next three or four years and I think that's probably the right thing to do," Morris told Wales Online.

"We had more people coming to watch us last season than we ever had before and the players responded to that and enjoyed it. It's early days. If we can increase our profitability as we did last year, get more people into the ground and go one step further than we did when we reached the quarter-finals, it will be an enjoyable tournament for Glamorgan supporters this summer."

Debate was revived about the future of England's T20 tournament when the Big Bash attracted record attendances in Australia, helped partly by nightly appearances on free-to-air TV.

"They have marketed the tournament really well, it's great to see the crowds they have attracted and we can learn from that," Morris said. "The standard has been competitive but I am not so sure it's a much better standard than we have here. Now we are coming into the second summer of the revamped tournament, we can go from strength to strength."

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