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Cricket blue print

The one day final was too one-sided to be any sort of contest. Most ODIs coming after the test series are an unwelcome bore yet, after England’s poor performance, it looks like our traditional system will be overhauled.

Tom Hollingworth wrote an excellent article stating that England across the board and field are more than holding their own. There will inevitably be dips and crests in any sporting nation so I am cynical that any overhaul will produce any talent that arrives arbitrarily.

However I do have a blue-print for big bash cricket that could run in parallel with the present infrastructure. I would regionalise the teams into franchises in the South coast (Hampshire and Sussex); South London (Surrey);  North London (Middlesex); the West (Gloucestershire and Somerset) ; Wales (Glamorgan); West Midlands (Warwickshire and Worcestershire) ; East Midlands (Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire); Lancashire; Yorkshire; The North East; Scotland; and Ireland .

Over the years I have heard criticism of the county structure. The latest is how South Africa improved by reducing its provincial cricket to 6 zones. They had to, as there was a haemorrhage of South African cricketers who could earn more in the Surrey Leagues. There is no such crisis in the counties. County cricket is part and parcel of regional life. Sussex, the oldest county, won nothing for decades until Peter Moores guided them to 3 county trophies, one achieved when Brighton won the play-offs to bring joy to the residents of Sussex. Going back further one of the reasons for the decline of the West Indian cricket was that their cricketers were denied the oxygen of county cricket. Every West Indian legend  had a county: Lara at Warwickshire, Holding at Derbyshire, Greenidge at Hampshire, Haynes at Middlesex, Ambrose at Northants, Walsh at Gloucestershire, Richards and Garner at Somerset. Nowadays overseas cricketer virtually use counties for  net practice but those I cited identified with their county. Of course there were not just West Indians: Hadlee, Imran Khan and Alan Donald all served their counties well.

English cricket is not broken, it’s chipped so why fix it?

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About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts