Pietersen and Carberry call for change

Michael Carberry slapped an unbeaten 37-ball 77 Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen and Michael Carberry have joined the call from England players involved in the Big Bash to extol the virtues of a revamped Twenty20 tournament in England.

Carberry's half century helped Perth Scorchers see off Melbourne Stars in Sunday's semifinal and leave Pietersen heading home to England only hours after rubbishing the current county system in England for producing ''muppets" existing on low salaries and lacking the skills to succeed.

Excited by the large crowds and free-to-air coverage of the Big Bash, Carberry also argued for change - adding his support for a condensed high-profile tournament not only to that of Pietersen but also that of Michael Lumb earlier in the tournament.

"Australia have just got it right," Carberry said. "The franchise system is something that the players back home have been crying out for for years. It works. You get the best of the best playing against each other in a short competition and with that you attract the best from overseas as well.

"All that added to the melting pot - the kit, the atmosphere and the way the games are sold to the kids makes for a great product. The players back home would definitely buy into a franchise system because our competition could do with a little revamp.

"Now the English guys are playing in these competitions and getting the experience of what it's like to play in front of big crowds. It's something that definitely has to be looked at."

Not only is England's T20 exclusive to Sky TV but even if it became contractually possible to show T20 free-to-air in England there are few signs of interest with indications that covering the tournament would not be a certain commercial success.

How to protect the most extensive professional circuit in the world - 18 counties and about 350 professional cricketers - while also winning a new generation of fans with a successful Twenty20 tournament is the perennial problem now facing the prospective ECB chairman Colin Graves and new chief executive Tom Harrison.

Pietersen expanded on his views in the Telegraph where he is now a highly-paid columnist.

"The present Twenty20 structure of playing once a week on a Friday over a three-month period is just not working," he wrote. "It puts off the best overseas players from joining our league, as it is too spread out. It is hard for Twenty20 specialists to stay in form.

"Playing the majority of fixtures on Friday nights perhaps does not encourage children and families quite as much as guys on a night out.

"So what is my solution? A short tournament of a maximum of 10 teams played in the school holidays. A smaller, condensed tournament will improve the competitive element, keeping more teams interested for longer and driving up the standard.

"England has so many advantages on its side. It is on a great time zone, there is no other major cricket being played in the world in July, overseas players love coming to our country and the long summer evenings are perfect for Twenty20."