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.