Last nights T20 final was a good example of what is good about the county cricket circuit. The ECB took a risk by competing against the opening day of the football Premier League season, but it appears to have paid off as the day was a complete success.
Despite some dodgy weather, the public were treated to a great final, going right down to the wire. The game had everything, some big hitting, good and indifferent fielding, good cricket from exciting young prospects like Danny Briggs and Jos Buttler, along with plenty of drama and a classic tight finish.
It shows the ECB that we do still have a good product in this country, one that should be looked after and treated with more care and respect.
We cricket fans, are sick of seeing Giles Clarke and co just looking to fill their boots with wheelbarrows full of cash at the expense of the long term good of our game.
There is a competition here that is still alive and needs revamping to make it even better, rather than flogging the life out of it as has been tried this year. Lots of players have spoken out about the endless matches this summer, and it has clearly been overdone in the group stages.
Whether that is down to the county chief exec’s or ECB, I don’t know. But someone has got to get a grip and sort this out, and sooner rather than later. It’s time to be more realistic, current economic conditions means the public can’t afford too much. The sort of ridiculous ideas like having two T20 competitions need to be put to bed once and for all. And the greedy idiots who come up with these stupid ideas should be booted out of cricket.
I’m not pretending the solution is an easy one. If they drag it out over the season, it makes keeping the big names from the T20 world of cricket harder to retain for the duration of the tournament.
If they do it in a 3-4 week window – like they did at in the early days – then it would be easier to keep big names for T20. That would also give the ECB the option of opening up the competition to more overseas players, like in India.
There would appear to be a resistance within county cricket to compact it like this. All the talk seems to be of Friday night fixtures over the main course of the season.
I like the sound of the fast, furious compact competition, let the counties sign 4 to 5 overseas stars for the duration of T20 and get it over with quickly, leave the public hungry for more. At the moment it is overkill.
Yesterday’s finals day showed the public are still interested, and the cricket action lived up to the public expectation. Lets see what next season brings.
Wes ~ PFCNFS ~
Hello Dean, I’m afraid that 4-5 players would totally tear the actual team apart, I mean 5 is half of the lineup… imagining for instance that as a Middlesex fan I would have to deal with a bunch of randomly picked mercenaries instead of the guys I’m familiar with and who I so badly wish to win, that wouldn’t be my team anymore, I would probably care less about their results…
Even with two overseas players absurd combinations are possible, a friend of mine noticed that those two teams made it into the final whose players had organically grown with each other, while the sides made up of individuals had to depart. Maybe there is a part of the spectators who couldn’t care less but my impression was that most of them came to cheer for their favourite side, which probably means they are attached to a certain familiar combination of players… I remember finding it very hard to get used to Gilchrist in the side, and he was only one…
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Hi Wes, thanks for the reply, and for blogrolling me.
Yes, I take you’re point that 4-5 overseas players is probably too many. It was more me just chucking ideas up in the air. And it would only be for a brief T20 window, not all season.
I have to admit, I wouldn’t be happy seeing my county, Warwickshire, fielding that many overseas players.
And I am also happy that they haven’t gone out and signed an overseas batsman for the county championship, which they clearly need with their lack of runs. Whether thats by choice or lack of available batsmen, I’m not sure.
But at the same time, if Gilchrist had been an outstanding success, would you not have taken too him more?
I don’t think signing players of the quality of Gilchrist or Pollard is a problem, but at the same time I don’t want county cricket clogged up with has beens and mercenaries, it is a hard balance to get right though.
Wes ~ PFCNFS ~
I think the current two players rule (add the Kolpaks to it) is actually pretty close to perfect. It’s just that the teams have to pick more carefully. Abdul Razzaq was sure not the most expensive of players but he did a fab job.
On Gilchrist, that’s a personal thing 😉 He came to the side and it was like OMFG he’s gonna show us how to do it! That made me a bit grumpy. Well yeah and then he did… and even took the captaincy over from my muchly appreciated Shaun Udal. Yeah they indeed started to win and everything was good at the end (while Warner, who I didn’t mind, was pretty disappointing)…
Warks are not looking good in the CC (but better than MS anyway… you are at least bottom of Div 1, not Div 2 haha) are you having any plans of getting relegated? *g*
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I do remember Gilchrist struggling at first, and at the time it did make me wonder why sign a semi-retired player, whereas Warner was a player in the groove who is a T20 expert.
Also thought it was a bit strange making AG the captain when he was only here for the T20. Maybe the board wanted to get their moneys worth out of him.
As for Warwickshire, I am pretty much resigned to going down. Need to beat Notts in current match to have any hope really. Ashley Giles did talk about getting an overseas batsman in after a recent thrashing, but glad to see them stick to what they’ve got.
They have got an England under 19 batsman playing in this game, who probably wouldn’t have had a chance had they got that overseas player in.
Chris Woakes hasn’t kicked on in the way he was expected to this season either, in fairness to him though it could be the 2nd season syndrome. The real test will be how he performs next year.
Looks like we will be playing each other next season!!