I am getting the impression cricket's popularity and powerbase is shifting to the domestic game from the international. Cricket has always been about one nation against another as opposed to one club againt another, but I think with the T20 franchise cricket there is now a fan base developing around city-based teams, particularly in Australia and India. This begs the question, should England now follow suit and create one of our own? I don't follow the IPL but do watch the Big Bash and its very noticeable to me how the various franchises have done a tremendous job at creating fan loyalty. You can see this by how many of them wear the team jersey to the games and seem to have great time at the venues. Many people probably follow their city with more passion than they do the national side now, something I would never have imagined.
The greatest obstacle we have in England is resistance to change at corporate level (county boards). The weather is also not conducive to playing early evening and night cricket in this country as much as say Australia where they are blessed with almost perfect cricket weather, particulary night cricket.
I would like to see 12 franchises across the UK playing into two regional divisions (something similar to baseball in the US) of six. Each playing the other five in their group home and away. At the end of the group stage, top two from each make it to the semis. The semis will pair team finishing top in the Northern division against team finishing second in Southern division. The other semi will see top from Southern division face second in Northern division. The semis and the final can be best of three. Top team starting with a home game, followed by playing away and then returning back home for the final game (if goes to a decider).
Nine of the twelve franchises will be from England, one each from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Irish and Welsh teams will be in the Southern division while the Scottish team will be in the Northern, along with teams like Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham.The Southern division could have teams like London, Bristol, Cardiff, Southampton, etc.