Former ICC President David Morgan has made four key proposals in an extensive consultation to the ECB concerning the future of county cricket.
More than 300 players, supporters, media professionals, coaches and county club committee members and Chief Executives were asked to contribute to Morgan’s research.
Further consultation and reports will be now orchestrated to define four key proposals ahead of the next ECB board meeting in January:
- Domestic Structure: To consider a domestic season from 2014 comprising 14 LV= County Championship, 10 Clydesdale Bank 50 over and 14 Friends Life t20 matches, with the 50 over and t20 competitions to include knockout stages from Quarter Final onwards.
- Scheduling: To utilise the reduction in cricket to facilitate regular scheduling for Twenty20 cricket on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and to commence LV= County Championship matches on Fridays in the early season, on Sundays in mid-season, and Mondays at the end of the season.
- Domestic Administration: To consider an enhanced role for the department responsible for the domestic professional game within ECB to mirror the successful Team England and Cricket Partnerships departments.
- Central Funding: To consider a reduction in Team Salary Payments and strengthening of Performance Related Fee Payments.
The Board endorsed these principles and determined that full recommendations should now be developed for the Board to consider at its January meeting.
“The Board was highly impressed with the diligent consultation and findings presented by David Morgan,” said ECB Chief Executive David Collier.
“It is clear from David Morgan’s initial work that in order to compliment the Team England goal of mirroring success in the Test and Twenty20 formats at the forthcoming Cricket World Cups, the format of ODI cricket must be introduced within domestic cricket from 2014. To support and strengthen the domestic County game, 14 FL t20 matches should be played, and to provide preparation time for high quality four day cricket, the LV= County Championship should be reduced to 14 matches.
“The Board unanimously endorsed the Morgan Review comments to create an appointment to view with consistent start dates in the LV=CC and FL t20 competitions. The Board also welcomed the findings of the work commenced by Gordon Hollins since his appointment as Managing Director of Events and County Business by strengthening the department responsible for the professional domestic game.”
Morgan, who has previously chaired the ECB, acknowledged that finding solutions to satisfy all counties was a challenging task.
“There are divergent opinions concerning the optimum structure to strengthen the domestic game,” he said.
“There was however a consistency of views expressed that the success of the Team England and Cricket Partnerships departments within ECB should be complimented with the strengthening of the department responsible for the domestic professional game.
“The volume of domestic cricket has made it impossible to schedule consistent start dates and I believe that spectators, players and administrators alike would welcome the certainty which a predictable programme would provide.
“I am convinced that there are no substantive commercial benefits evident from a 40 over format in comparison with the 50 over format which is the standard for international one day cricket. I have therefore concluded that the Board should adopt the 50 over format from 2014.
”I am pleased that the Board recognised the value of the extensive consultation which has been central to this review and appreciate the kind comments expressed by the Board on my initial presentation.”