While they dined on dishes prepared for them by four England cricketers of past and present, the three most powerful men in the English game must have quietly marvelled at the outcome of their day.

On Wednesday night, in the Long Room at Lord's, Chance to Shine raised a healthy wedge for the continuation of the programmes that have helped to regenerate cricket in schools. There is a long way to go, and figures to do with participation in the game remain a concern. The ECB is addressing this with vigour and will work alongside Chance to Shine to ensure a brighter future for all children, not just the privileged few.

Stuart Broad, Mark Butcher, Jonathan Agnew and Graeme Swann laid on a mighty feast, in a kind of cooking reality show that attracts lovers of the game to pay a good price for seats. Sample the fare and pick a winner. For the second consecutive year, and to a roar of approval, Broad was that man. He smiled the widest smile, took his bow and accepted the trophy.

Elsewhere in the room, Colin Graves, the chairman of the ECB, Tom Harrison, the chief executive, and Andrew Strauss, the director of cricket, were smiling wider still. Hours earlier the counties had voted 16-3 in favour of the executive master plan - and a seismic shift to the way in which the English professional game will be structured.

To clarify, the new eight-team, city-based T20 tournament will not be contested by franchises - as in private ownership - but will be owned and run by the ECB, which may or may not receive its desired mandate to rebrand away from the traditional names of the counties. First it must receive 75% of the vote of the 41 members of the ECB. The only possible hiccup could be the trenchant members of county clubs, who are inherently resistant to change. There are some nervous county chairmen out there.

Will regions untouched by the lustre of city-based cricket lose contact with and concern for the game? Will international cricket, against all but the most prized opponents, play second fiddle to the Harlem Globetrotting of T20's brave new world?

This debate has rumbled along since, eight years ago, the previous chairman, Giles Clarke, scuppered an attempt at something similar dreamt up by a breakaway group that included two or three influential county chairmen and the then CEO of the MCC, Keith Bradshaw. Almost everyone has had their say and it is high time to act. Standing still is no longer an option. The zeitgeist is evident in India and Australia, where similar models have brought huge crowds that include younger viewers, tribal following and a dramatic increase to television revenue. England needs to be on the gravy train.

My initial instinct for T20 was to go for two divisions - Premier League and Championship - with promotion and relegation, played in exactly the window that has been identified for the city-based competition towards the end of July and into August. Like the County Championship, this keeps everyone in the business and allows for the rise and fall of empires. But there was understandable concern about the commercial value of the Championship, or, as it might quickly be known, the second division. Given that vastly increased income and public interest were the main reasons behind the pitch - or heist, some are calling it - the more radical design makes sense. Frankly, both options disenfranchise the smaller counties and their place in the great scheme of things ten years down the track must surely be threatened by the concentration of talent, glamour and money in the big cities.

I have long advocated fewer counties. By way of stealth, we may get there one day. I just didn't see it happening through T20 cricket, at least not until Australia launched the Big Bash League and proved conclusively that a new order had arrived. England will copy much of the Australian model, and imitation remains the greatest form of flattery. The challenge will be to get it right for the different environment, climate and attitudes that prevail in the old country. Thus, team names and colours; player auctions and/or drafts; the involvement of England players; pricing - for the television, multimedia and sponsorship markets, but most importantly, for the man on the street and his family; hours of play; staging and ticketing of semi-finals and finals, and much more, are all essential parts of a complex jigsaw. This thing must be sexy but it needs to be real.

Amidst all the excitement, will anyone register that the four-day County Championship has been reduced to 14 matches per county, and how many will care? What will happen to 50-over cricket, which remains an essential bridge between the longest and shortest forms of the game? If cricket squeezes the 50-over game too hard, players may gravitate toward the lowest common denominator - it is sure easier to earn a crust by becoming a competent 20-over cricketer than by making the many sacrifices required to achieve a Test match cap.

Will regions untouched by the lustre of city-based cricket lose contact with and concern for the game? Will international cricket, against all but the most prized opponents, play second fiddle to the Harlem Globetrotting of T20's brave new world? Only time will tell. Certainly these questions tell us something about the gamble being taken.

My guess is that Wednesday, September 14, 2016 was a good day for cricket and everything proposed and acted upon will work out just fine. Fourteen County Championship matches is plenty if played with the relevant intensity. An all-singing-and-dancing 50-over knockout cup - tinkered with and tweaked here and there - that reaches its climax with a sell-out final at Lord's on the first Saturday of July can bring some much needed jeopardy to the format and rather better reward for Royal London, its charming sponsor. The best overseas players will collectively return to our shores for the first time in many years: think Kohli, de Villiers, Warner, Dhoni, Steyn, and Starc. We shouldn't worry too much about international cricket, which stands alone in this land of hope and glory, "Jerusalem" and "God Save the Queen", especially as the ICC are closer to a Test championship and tighter control over bilateral tour formatting.

As for back-to-back, wall-to-wall two-tournament T20 cricket? Well, it's what everyone wants. Isn't it?

Mark Nicholas, the former Hampshire captain, presents the cricket on Channel Nine in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK