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Plan for Minor counties to join Division Two as part of domestic shake-up

chris.hinton

International Vice-Captain
As reported by the times last week (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/...on-two-as-part-of-domestic-shake-up-35m8lt9zd)

I think this would be a decent idea. But are 4 National Countries equipped to join? They will need to become full time very quickly over the winter months. Unless they are given more time and ECB helps them out with loan players & Coaching and help with upgrading the facilities

The Plan is for

- Top Division of 12 counties (Play 10 Matches during the season, And 2 matches overseas in March)
- 2nd Division of 10 Counties (Play 10 Matches during the season)

T20 and 50 Over Cricket to remain the same


What's your thoughts and what would you do to rebrand/change the English Domestic Season
 

HeathDavisSpeed

Hall of Fame Member
Can’t wait to see Dean Park, Bournemouth used for FC cricket again. Lovely ground.

Not sure many of the Test ground counties would be happy to slog it out against Lincolnshire, Herefordshire or Suffolk (et. al.)

Why not a combined Europe team or even Netherlands or Scotland. I’d imagine they’d be better set up for the logistical challenge than most minor counties.
 

kevinw

U19 Cricketer
The easiest way to get eighteen counties to play ten FC games is to have 3x6 divisions - on performance, region, whatever.
 

Blenkinsop

U19 12th Man
Which of the National Counties would it be? Durham were given first-class status after absolutely dominating the Minor Counties championship for at least ten years, and they still struggled badly for their first ten years or so in the County Championship. There's a massive difference in infrastructure and resources between the two levels. And where would the money come from? Might make more sense to have Ireland, Scotland and maybe the Netherlands or a Welsh national side?

I prefer this way of thinking to the idea of reducing the number of FC counties though.

Unfortunately most of the right answers to the question "How do we improve English domestic cricket?" start with "Abolish The Hundred," and that seems unlikely at the moment.
 

kevinw

U19 Cricketer
Well, it seems silly to conduct a major review of the county game once you've introduced the Hundred and apparently made it a non-negotiable factor (it stays). Whatever changes they wanted to accommodate the Hundred should've been introduced last season.

Adding minor counties/associates and having lopsided divisions without home/away fixtures is silly. The 3x6 split seems much less complicated. You can avoid making it overly hierarchical in case you're concerned about the top division clubs cherrypicking talent from below - not that this doesn't happen anyway. You can go regional, or just rotate the division allocations over a fixed period. I'd suggest the three divisional champions and the best runner up play SF/F in September to determine overall championship winners.

The main thing to avoid is overlapping competitions so you can retain the integrity of them. I'd break the CC into 2x5 game blocks - one earlier in the season, one later and play the short forms around it.

CC could be the five weeks from the start of May and the five weeks from the start of July. September for the play offs.

June is for the Blast (a game every other day on average) and August for the Hundred (personally I would've had a franchise T20 of six sides based around three counties each than what we have, which really doesn't work).

50 over stuff - I think that's the issue here. I don't see how you keep a franchise competition and a good amount of 50 overs unless you overlap or reduce the number of games. If your franchise tournament only borrowed 4-5 players per county, then you wouldn't be reducing the strength too much. But there's no perfect solutions.
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
As reported by the times last week (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/...on-two-as-part-of-domestic-shake-up-35m8lt9zd)

I think this would be a decent idea. But are 4 National Countries equipped to join? They will need to become full time very quickly over the winter months. Unless they are given more time and ECB helps them out with loan players & Coaching and help with upgrading the facilities

The Plan is for

- Top Division of 12 counties (Play 10 Matches during the season, And 2 matches overseas in March)
- 2nd Division of 10 Counties (Play 10 Matches during the season)

T20 and 50 Over Cricket to remain the same


What's your thoughts and what would you do to rebrand/change the English Domestic Season
I can't read the article without subscribing to the Times, but I disagree with your numbers slightly. A division of 12 teams would have 11 matches, not twelve. And a division of 10 teams would have 9 matches, not 10. But I know that doesn't alter the bigger picture.

I still think the best way to devise a FC competition where the best players compete against each other instead of in different divisions is to make it regionally based. That doesn't mean doing away with he counties, who would still compete in the T20 and 50 over competitions. And probably in a 4 day competition involving the guys who don't make the regional teams. But obviously that couldn't involve promotion & relegation. And there's a part of me that doesn't like that at all because I've been following the county game for decades and it has an amazing heritage. But time has moved on.
 

Chubb

International Debutant
Berkshire have been the dominant team of late, but all the winners of the Minor Counties Championship are listed here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Counties_Cricket_Championship

Cheshire are up there, I guess. Devon, who I remember dominating in the 90s, don't seem to have impressed so much of late.
Devon are really bad at the moment. In the 90s, as you say, there was even talk of doing a Durham. As it is they would not make the cut for this.
 

chris.hinton

International Vice-Captain
I can't read the article without subscribing to the Times, but I disagree with your numbers slightly. A division of 12 teams would have 11 matches, not twelve. And a division of 10 teams would have 9 matches, not 10. But I know that doesn't alter the bigger picture.

I still think the best way to devise a FC competition where the best players compete against each other instead of in different divisions is to make it regionally based. That doesn't mean doing away with he counties, who would still compete in the T20 and 50 over competitions. And probably in a 4 day competition involving the guys who don't make the regional teams. But obviously that couldn't involve promotion & relegation. And there's a part of me that doesn't like that at all because I've been following the county game for decades and it has an amazing heritage. But time has moved on.
I know that Wpdavid. But i think they are playing an extra game. The top division of 10 has 14 games


Regional/Franchises would not work as the Countries will struggle to survive, Even if they are playing in T20 & 50 over competitions. South Africa tried this and it was financially impossible and they went back to states for their domestic cricket.

There is a solution somewhere. But it should involve countries and the possible introduction of new countries as well
 

kevinw

U19 Cricketer
No way will counties want to play in a Third Division. If it's two regions of 6 it may work
I agree that would be a hard sell on performance only. And you would have the cherry picking situation where any talented player in the third division would be tapped up. Maybe you have a three year rotation or something of which sides make up the divisions. Maybe that's too complex.
 

wpdavid

Hall of Fame Member
I know that Wpdavid. But i think they are playing an extra game. The top division of 10 has 14 games


Regional/Franchises would not work as the Countries will struggle to survive, Even if they are playing in T20 & 50 over competitions. South Africa tried this and it was financially impossible and they went back to states for their domestic cricket.

There is a solution somewhere. But it should involve countries and the possible introduction of new countries as well
Talk me through it. Why would a regional 4-day competition mean that counties would struggle to survive, if they're still taking part in T20, 50 overs and the next level 4-day competition?
 

ataraxia

International Captain
Add a 5-team FC competition on top of the CC imo. 12 matches for each team, 4 home, 4 away, 4 out of the UK. Cut the T20 Blast and unstupidise the dundered.
 

TheJediBrah

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Add a 5-team FC competition on top of the CC imo. 12 matches for each team, 4 home, 4 away, 4 out of the UK. Cut the T20 Blast and unstupidise the dundered.
Would be a good idea if executed well. Only the best 55-60 players in the comp would make standards much higher and add another step between county cricket and Test cricket, which is vital IMO because right now the gap is too big.

Can't see how it would happen in reality with the schedule. 2 FC comps as well as the 50-over, 20-over and the Hundred?
 

ataraxia

International Captain
Would be a good idea if executed well. Only the best 55-60 players in the comp would make standards much higher and add another step between county cricket and Test cricket, which is vital IMO because right now the gap is too big.

Can't see how it would happen in reality with the schedule. 2 FC comps as well as the 50-over, 20-over and the Hundred?
It would effectively end up with Eng. domestic cricket being two-tiered. I dunno but maybe play the Blast and 5 rounds of this at the same time, and try to give everything else a separate window? idk, being an NZer I yearn to have more than 88 domestic games in a season and don't see much problem with English fixture congestion
 

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