2006-05-22

My plan for English County Cricket

1. Accord first class status to the minor counties.

2. Allow all first class counties the freedom to hire as many overseas players as they desire. This will both increase the standard of play to ensure that minor counties get good players, as well as provide ample opportunities for young English players to develop. Internationally, this would allow high quality first-class players to compete in a competition that would resemble the "Premier League".

3. Create two divisions of 19 teams each. These include the 18 current counties and the 20 minor counties. The top minor county side from the previous season should be promoted to division one.

4. Each team plays the other in its division once in a four day match, making a total of 18 four day matches played in a season. A promotion/relegation system will exist between the top two teams of the second division and the bottom two teams of the first division.

5. A one-day competition of 50 overs per side will consist of 4 different pools of ten teams (a total of 40 teams). Half of each pool will consist of teams from the first division and half from the second division. Each side will play the other once. The top two teams in each pool (8 teams) will then compete in a knockout competition that ends in a grand final. The 40 teams will include the 18 current counties, the 20 minor counties, and a team each from Scotland and Ireland. This competition will begin in the first half of the season.

6. A 20-20 competition will be played in the second half of the season with the same parameters as the one day competition already mentioned (4 pools of 10 teams each, top two teams from each pool compete in a knockout competition that ends in a grand final).

7. (18 x 4 day games) + (9 x 1 day games) + (3 finals) + (9 x 20-20 games) + (3 finals) = 96 games in a season maximum, 90 minimum. This compares favourably with the current model and those from the past (where often counties would play beyond 110 days per season).

8. Funds from the ICC are diverted to encourage counties to develop and engage the services of players in nations like Bangladesh and non-test playing nations (like Kenya).

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Here is a list of international players who would be very useful playing in this expanded county system (these players have not played for any English county sides or have had any recent, extended Test exposure):

From Australia:

Brad Haddin, 28, NSW, 4120 runs @ 38.50, 187 catches, 18 stumpings
Allan Wise, 27, Victoria, 78 wickets @ 26.98
Brett Dorey, 28, WA, 61 wickets @ 23.86
(a lot of non-test playing Australian cricketers have played / are playing for English counties)

From Bangladesh:

Golam Rahman, ?, Sylhet, 1675 runs @ 46.52
Farhad Hossein, 19, Rajshahi, 617 runs @ 28.04, 25 wickets @ 22.92
Rezaul Haque, 23, Sylhet, 1318 runs @ 20.92, 106 wickets @ 21.58
Hasibul Hossain, 28, Sylhet, 146 wickets @ 25.41
Yasin Arafat, 18, Chittagong, 98 wickets @ 27.51
Mushfiqur Rahman, 26, Rajshahi, 1548 runs @ 24.57, 101 wickets @ 27.94
Arafat Salahuddin, 22, Barisal, 51 wickets @ 23.76
Elias Sunny, 20, Dhaka, 669 runs @ 26.76, 78 wickets @ 25.85
Shafaq Al Zabir, 19, Rajshahi, 63 wickets @ 22.25










From India:

Abhijit Kale, 32, Maharashta, 7004 runs @ 56.03
Sridharan Sriram, 30, Tamil Nadu, 8279 runs @ 55.19
Pravanjan Mullick, 29, Orissa, 4989 runs @ 54.22
Sridharan Sharath, 33, Tamil Nadu, 8080 runs @ 52.81
Amol Muzumdar, 31, Mumbai, 8035 runs @ 51.83
Pankaj Dharmani, 31, Punjab, 7327 runs @ 51.23, 221 catches, 20 stumpings
Vinod Kambli, 34, Mumbai, 9965 runs @ 59.67
Harvinder Singh, 28, Punjab, 252 wickets @ 29.87
Kulamani Parida, 29, Railways, 294 wickets @ 27.93

From New Zealand:

Michael Mason, 31, Central Districts, 187 wickets @ 24.72
Lance Hamilton, 33, Central Districts, 208 wickets @ 25.34
James Franklin, 25, Wellington, 2575 runs @ 27.98, 268 wickets @ 23.81
Jesse Ryder, 21, Wellington, 1836 runs @ 45.90
Mark Gillespie, 26, Wellington, 148 wickets @ 25.00
Kerry Walmsley, 32, Otago, 253 wickets @ 24.90
Tama Canning, 29, Auckland, 2023 runs @ 27.71, 192 wickets @ 24.23
Kyle Mills, 27, Auckland, 1488 runs @ 31.00, 140 wickets @ 26.35
Peter Fulton, 27, Canterbury, 3389 runs @ 47.06
Matthew Sinclair, 30, Central Districts, 8701 runs @ 47.28 (wants to play in South Africa)
Brent Hefford, 28, Central Districts, 87 wickets @ 26.05
Warren McSkimming, 26, Central Districts, 153 wickets @ 24.14
Iain O'Brien, 29, Wellington, 136 wickets @ 23.91










This article was edited and expanded on 29 May 2006.

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© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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2 comments:

Kurt Rudder said...

I think you make some very interesting points though it would mean more games against weaker teams. Maybe if you built on the current 2 tiered system and added a further 2 divisions using the minor counties so they could be promoted and relegated into the county championship.

One Salient Oversight said...

Ordinarily, the doubling (or more) of teams in a competition would automatically lead to a watering down of the standards of play, resulting in lop-sided results and so on.

But my plan to allow all 38 teams to have free, unfettered access to as many international players as they want will more than make up for this.

In the past, English counties were restricted to one overseas professional being allowed to play at one time. Now, due to the Kolpak ruling, the amount of international cricketers able to play county cricket has increased. A team like Hampshire, for example, is allowed to play both Shane Warne and Sean Ervine.

So while there will be an increase in clubs, the "watering down" effect will not be present since top-class talent will be drawn into the competition.