With the county season done and dusted for another year, and the county championship proudly sitting in the Surrey trophy cabinet, thoughts of members up and down the country will have their views and will vote for or against the “ high performance review” proposal from Andrew Strauss and the ECB. A lot of it is good, but the structure, county championship and the 100 are the main points that need addressing.
The proposal was announced by Andrew Strauss calling it high performance. Let’s start there. To me high performance is achieved by giving enough time for the players to recover and rest between games which should see less injuries. Playing two games in two day’s is ridiculous, you could have a county playing away in the T20, after the match they travel home, the adrenaline is still flowing so won’t get much sleep and will expect to go again the following day in another T20. That will result in injuries. That’s not high performance and will not help in high intensity & mental fatigue, the players need gaps and then will have time set aside for strength and conditioning.
What has been proposed is 3 leagues, that could have a very damaging effect on county cricket. We could lose a few counties and none of us wants that to happen, it still seems to be in blocks with just too few games. I think from a pure cricket point of view the Ashes has had to make way from July-Sept and crammed in 46 Day’s in June-July, that surely doesn’t give player adequate rest and preparation for the each test does it?
With the Ashes moved from its normal slots purely because of the 100( the Ashes dates back to 1884) it’s the test series that grips the heart of every member and cricket fan up and down the country. Yet a new form of cricket (I use that term loosely) comes along and could destroy the game we love. We have the shortest summer of any cricket playing nation, and of course are the only nation that plays it.
I have spoken to members from all over the country and very few want the 100. When Richard Thompson addressed the members at Surrey’s awards ceremony on the day the championship was won he said “you might get to like it!” Everyone to a man booed! Richard voted against it from the start, but the latest contract has been signed, incidentally days before Richard was to start! I guess he cannot change anything but we cannot give up hope. The tv figures decreased by 33% on the second year. I think a lot will be hoping for the same, if you feel like I do, don’t watch it. Then it could get to a point when figures show that it’s not a viable product.
Everyone has their idea on the schedule. I was at Lancashire last week and sat in on their forum. The players want to play cricket, they only want the schedule to change. I for one hate all the blocks. At Surrey we had three championship games at home in quick succession in July then nothing until September!
You are then in the lap of the gods relying on the weather. Glamorgan missed out on promotion because of the weather. Whatever happens with the schedule red ball cricket must be played in August.
Something which hasn’t been mentioned is the second X1 and what lies beneath the first X1 the kids applying their trade, without having a chance to play in front of a crowd, I have always wanted the Sunday league to come back. Why not have it back with the second X1 with conditions that you can only field 4 players from the first X1. I’m sure the game will benefit from that. With all the players Surrey have had away for test and the 100 they found it difficult to compete but they have unearthed a gem in Tom Lawes for example. I feel he will be a certain England captain and a great all rounder he is 19. I’m very excited by him, that’s for another day.
I now fly off to Australia on the 17th for the World Cup and then onto Pakistan, in the new year we will be travelling to South Africa, and finally New Zealand Feb/March if you fancy some sun and a bit of cricket give us a call!
All the best