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News

Cautious support for MCC-Middlesex merger plans

Revelations that the MCC is holding discussions with Middlesex with a view to a possible merger have received support from Paul Sheldon and Jim Cumbes, the chief executives of Surrey and Lancashire

Cricinfo staff
15-Feb-2008

MCC members will have the final say in any moves to merge © Getty Images
 
Revelations that the MCC is holding discussions with Middlesex with a view to a possible merger have received support from Paul Sheldon and Jim Cumbes, the chief executives of Surrey and Lancashire.
"I am sure a merger would make perfect sense in that Middlesex would be the county of MCC," Sheldon told The Times. Asked about concerns that a merged outfit would destablise the domestic game, he said: "The best way of ensuring rough parity between counties is to introduce salary capping. Surrey have always been in favour of salary capping. It would prevent the wealthiest three or four counties dominating the game."
Cumbes said that any merger would strengthen the standard of county cricket. "I can see some grumbles from smaller counties over unrivalled wealth, but that's life," he told the newspaper. "I can't see any real downside and I don't foresee more than two Tests a summer being played at Lord's. It's not the first time a proposal has been made for an MCC team to take part in the county championship. Only one question pops out: how does MCC's responsibility for the Laws sit with this?"
If Middlesex and the MCC reached agreement - and talks are at a very early stage - then the move would still need the approval of the ECB as well as the 18,000+ membership of the MCC.