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Humphrey Appleby

The Crisp Crack Of Leather On Willow

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On 7/24/2021 at 10:27 PM, CrystalCastles said:

It's been necessary to attempt to change the financial future of the domestic game for a long time.

Positives for me, are the players are behind it, its on terrestrial TV, its attracted players who wouldn't have played over here.

Not really sure it's going to work or last as a competition.

Really competitive games today

 

 

Of course the players are behind it!  £££££££££££

And how can they justify reducing the playing time again?  It came down to 20 overs per side when T20 came along, now they’ve reduced it to 16 overs and 4 balls per side.

Oh, and like British Speedway, players are doubling up now as well. Livingstone and Moeen are doubling up with Birmingham, while Sam Hain’s doubling up somewhere else.

Bish Bash Bosh is going very Mickey Mouse.

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5 hours ago, auntie doris said:

Good to look to appeal to a new audience, triffik viewing figures for BBC, men and women. I was anti at start, being a white flannel traditionalist who used to politely applaud at The Oval. Really enjoyed it so far, although torrential rain called time on the London derby, and the chance to beat our foes from norf of the river.

I think people can take it for what it is, and the positives of the competition. Or can simply switch off because it's ruining the game.

At least a few people are enjoying it.

5 hours ago, The Cheese said:

2nd viewing was the game at Edgbaston on Friday. Good match albeit in front of a crowd that looked no bigger than a T20 fixture. Take away the free tickets and it would no doubt be much lower. 

Also watched the game at Trent Bridge on Saturday afternoon. Was clear that Sky had been told to push the family narrative more. Nasser at the end was stressing how the atmosphere was more family based and not the 'usual T20 crowd'. Those mums and kids obviously learnt the words to 'Don't take me home' quickly given it was being sung for half of the match :)

Really not sure that they have got Ticket pricing correct. I had booked to get TIckets when it was due to start originally simply due to having a great desire to see certain players, but even then i thought it was a tad expensive. 

4 hours ago, Humphrey Appleby said:

It's a tough one.

The ECB have obviously looked on enviously at the success of the IPL and Big Bash, that were largely based on their own 'innovation' of T20 but which had to be superimposed over the existing 18 county structure. The T20 Cup doesn't really lend itself to the same sort of format, which also means missing out on many of the top players that the other competitions have.

At the same time, economic reality needs to set-in on County Cricket as I think hardly any teams make a profit, and those that do are reliant on the ECB subsidy to do so. I know it's not as simple as culling the non test venue counties as a few of them are relatively financially sound, but you do have to wonder how long you can prop-up the others, and to what end? 

There should probably be no more than 12 professional teams in England, and certainly no more than 14. So it's quite obvious that the Hundred is an attempt to not only jump on the IPL and BBL bandwagons, but to test the water before radical surgery is undertaken. Build up some new fanbases who aren't wedded to the traditional county cricket, and the job will become easier.

County Cricket is a strange beast anyway. Cricket was my first love in terms of sport, but coming from a minor county I've never followed any domestic First Class team. And since the demise of the John Player Sunday League, I've not really been bothered about going to a domestic game beyond the odd T20 outing, and I've actually been to far more international matches over the years. There must be a huge untapped audience out there if you can get away from the connection with ancient counties, some of which don't even exist anymore... 

It's a very difficult nut to crack. Ultimately the current structure isn't sustainable, they simply must find a way to make more profit, or at least drive the counties to break even. They have to tackle the crowd situation and generate more interest in the game.

The 100 is definitely testing the Water. A radical restructure of the game will be far easier to justify, once the Hundred has got into full swing.

Personally i think the ECB has got the restructure of the 4 Day County game correct - i like the format and think it could work sustainably.

We also have to accept that we need a 50 over and 20 over game to reflect the current International Formats.

We need English (British) players playing more regularly & we need International players to play our domestic competition, rather than constantly dipping in and out.

However the Counties are run by people in constant denial, who simply want to protect their class status, who want to keep all of the fixtures, eventhough financially most of them are loss making.

My suggestion would be do to do everything to retain the 1st Class Status. So keep the CC with it's new format.

But to be radical with the 50 over & 20 over game and squeeze them into 6-8 Weeks - attract more foreign players.

E.g. 9 teams play T20 Cricket and 9 Teams play 50 over cricket, on a Bi-Annual Rotation.
Or utilize minor counties in both formats to reduce the number of qualifying games (Particularly in the blast)  - If you get up to 24 teams then, you could have 4 groups of 6, 5 group games, a QF,SF,Final.

 

3 hours ago, Midland Red said:

Of course the players are behind it!  £££££££££££

And how can they justify reducing the playing time again?  It came down to 20 overs per side when T20 came along, now they’ve reduced it to 16 overs and 4 balls per side.

Oh, and like British Speedway, players are doubling up now as well. Livingstone and Moeen are doubling up with Birmingham, while Sam Hain’s doubling up somewhere else.

Bish Bash Bosh is going very Mickey Mouse.

Money may have been the primary motivating factor, but i think the new Format and the lack of games played a part in attracting the players.

The majority of counties are loss making, outside of the OD/T20 - Yorkshire/Lancashire Derbies, and Middlesex/Surrey i don't think i have seen a really big crowd.

How the Domestic game deals with dwindling crowds, an inability to attract top players for a full season, and the dominance of the Large/Financially Rich Counties. are also major problems. The restructure of the County Championship is probably the best thing the ECB have done in my lifetime.

I wish i could see grounds full for 4 day cricket regularly, to have big interest in the OD Competition (Like the old Sunday League) but those days are gone.

They missed the boat with the T20 game & the Counties all put there own interests in protecting their status ahead off the long term Financial sustainability of the Domestic game. So it is no wonder that they came up with a new Idea.

1 minute ago, Bagpuss said:

Massive problem, hopefully they work out a sensible solution

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47 minutes ago, CrystalCastles said:

Really not sure that they have got Ticket pricing correct. I had booked to get TIckets when it was due to start originally simply due to having a great desire to see certain players, but even then i thought it was a tad expensive. 

How much were your tickets CrystalCastles? Just interested as I attended the double header at Trent Bridge on Saturday and it only cost me £14. I'd call that great VFM.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, CrystalCastles said:

Personally i think the ECB has got the restructure of the 4 Day County game correct - i like the format and think it could work sustainably.

We also have to accept that we need a 50 over and 20 over game to reflect the current International Formats.

We need English (British) players playing more regularly & we need International players to play our domestic competition, rather than constantly dipping in and out.

However the Counties are run by people in constant denial, who simply want to protect their class status, who want to keep all of the fixtures, eventhough financially most of them are loss making.

My suggestion would be do to do everything to retain the 1st Class Status. So keep the CC with it's new format.

But to be radical with the 50 over & 20 over game and squeeze them into 6-8 Weeks - attract more foreign players.

E.g. 9 teams play T20 Cricket and 9 Teams play 50 over cricket, on a Bi-Annual Rotation.
Or utilize minor counties in both formats to reduce the number of qualifying games (Particularly in the blast)  - If you get up to 24 teams then, you could have 4 groups of 6, 5 group games, a QF,SF,Final.

 

 

Money may have been the primary motivating factor, but i think the new Format and the lack of games played a part in attracting the players.

The majority of counties are loss making, outside of the OD/T20 - Yorkshire/Lancashire Derbies, and Middlesex/Surrey i don't think i have seen a really big crowd.

How the Domestic game deals with dwindling crowds, an inability to attract top players for a full season, and the dominance of the Large/Financially Rich Counties. are also major problems. The restructure of the County Championship is probably the best thing the ECB have done in my lifetime.

I wish i could see grounds full for 4 day cricket regularly, to have big interest in the OD Competition (Like the old Sunday League) but those days are gone.

They missed the boat with the T20 game & the Counties all put there own interests in protecting their status ahead off the long term Financial sustainability of the Domestic game. So it is no wonder that they came up with a new Idea.

Massive problem, hopefully they work out a sensible solution

I do quite like the new format of the County Championship, and if you're paying players for a season anyway, then you might as well stage some matches and take some money provided it's not costing you money just to open the grounds.

With respect to the 50 overs and T20 competitions, not sure why you just can't stage the 50 overs in the first half of the season (in parallel with the County Championship), have a break for the Hundred whilst the counties just play First Class matches, and then run the T20 Cup in the latter part of the season. There's enough time in the calendar for it, and it's what used to happen with the old B&H Cup etc...

If you wanted to round-out the groups, then invite the three (now) First Class Irish teams and have three 'Minor Counties' teams representing the large areas that have no First Class representation - e.g. East Anglia, Thames Valley, Wales, South-West Peninsula.

But at the end of the day, it's just moving deckchairs on the Titanic. It has to be financially sensible to maintain all these professional teams and for what purpose? 

Could imagine that the County Championship will eventually end up with 8-10 teams, possibly 12, in some elite professional tier, with the rest going into some sort of semi-professional competition with the Minor Counties (or whatever they're called these days). A bit like what happened in South Africa which effectively has a two-tier First Class setup. 

If you started with a clean sheet of paper, you'd probably come up with something like 2 London teams (Middlesex and Surrey), a South East team (Sussex and Kent), a Southern team (Hampshire), a South-West team (Gloucestershire and Somerset), a West Midlands team (Warwickshire and Worcestershire), an East Midlands team (Notts, Derbys, Leics and Northants), a North-West team (Lancashire), a Yorkshire team (erm... Yorkshire), a North-East team (Durham), an Eastern team (Essex) and then a Welsh team (Glamorgan). 

Edited by Humphrey Appleby
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11 hours ago, Scott0311 said:

How much were your tickets CrystalCastles? Just interested as I attended the double header at Trent Bridge on Saturday and it only cost me £14. I'd call that great VFM.

I jumped on the original pre sale so got mine for £10 then returned them based on restrictions in Wales. Sadly in Wales they are restricted to 20% Capacity currently.

I think after the original pre-sale Adult tickets were split into 3 categories roughly between £15-£25.

I also noticed that the larger grounds/bigger games tickets were more expensive. 

Whilst not ridiculous I think it's enough to put some people off, mainly existing Cricket fans.

 

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Very sad news. Just announced that Mike Hendrick has passed away. A big favourite of mine from the 70s and 80s. RIP Mike :(

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Some entertaining matches in the 50 over comp in the last couple of days despite the rain. On Tuesday we had Middlesex just falling short against Durham and Surrey making 311 in just 30 overs against Notts. And yesterday Somerset defending 180 with the final ball going for 4 when Glamorgan needed 6.

Good to see so many young players taking their chances. Some of those who will spend a month sat on the bench for their Hundred side might end up regretting it

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9 hours ago, The Cheese said:

Some entertaining matches in the 50 over comp in the last couple of days despite the rain. On Tuesday we had Middlesex just falling short against Durham and Surrey making 311 in just 30 overs against Notts. And yesterday Somerset defending 180 with the final ball going for 4 when Glamorgan needed 6.

Good to see so many young players taking their chances. Some of those who will spend a month sat on the bench for their Hundred side might end up regretting it

Great game between Somerset and Glammy. Fantastic spell from Hogan and then a great recovery from Somerset. Glamorgan in trouble early, recovered through Root and Cullen and then brilliant spell from Somerset to take control again. Don't think I've seen a team lose by 1 run using DLS before.

Was gutted.

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Leach left out again, absolute farce. Disgraceful the way he's treated by the management of this side. 

Even worse decision by India to leave out Ashwin!

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Usual garbage with the bat from England today apart from the skipper. As Vaughan has just said on TMS, the young players just arent learning (or perhaps good enough).

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Not sure what to make of the 100  to be sure ... but Sammy ,Gough and Kp ...can it get much worst ?

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It's time to stop focusing on the players and look at the bigger picture. The ECB don't care about how good the Test side is, simple as that. As long as test matches sell out they couldn't care less what the result is because all that concerns them is the money. 

Vaughan as usual shows himself up as an idiot by calling players 'out of their depth'. What chance have they got? They've had absolutely no preparation for this series at all. Instead of letting players have a couple of slogs in The Hundred why weren't they playing a Test in Ireland for example? Why weren't the likes of Anderson, Broad, Lawrence, Crawley playing in the match India played against a county side? Or they could have just added a few more players to this squad and had a 4 day warm-up between England A and England B.

Even the bowling from Anderson and Broad yesterday was terrible, but again they've had no opportunity to bowl at all let alone with the red ball. The NZ series finished 2 months ago, since then;

  1. Burns - 2 first class games, last played nearly 4 weeks ago
  2. Sibley - same as Burns
  3. Crawley - 1 game, made 0 from 6 balls
  4. Root - nothing
  5. Bairstow - last played in India in March
  6. Lawrence - nothing
  7. Buttler - last played in India in February
  8. Curran - last played in Sri Lanka in January
  9. Robinson - 1 game 
  10. Broad - 1 game, only bowled 19 overs
  11. Anderson - 1 game, only bowled 22 overs

It's fair to question whether these players are good enough but you can't blame them for being rusty when they've had absolutely no chance to get ready for this series. 4 day cricket has been pushed to the margins by the ECB under Colin Graves and now Tom Harrison. We already have rumours that next year the County Championship will be played in the same window as The Hundred. It's on the verge of dying and Test cricket will follow whilst the ECB is under this management. 

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100% agree. Firstly, The Hundred is a solution to a problem of the ECB's making in the first place. By giving it such a dominant position in the calendar and marginalising the Championship and 50 over comp it was always going to mean players were massively under-cooked for this Test series - and the NZ one before it. The policy of prioritising white ball cricket in the run up to the 2019 World Cup is now bearing fruit, but the collateral damage to the longer format is now becoming apparent - as was predicted by many. At least the Aussies are having a nightmare as well.

Having said that you have to question what the plethora of coaches around the England team are doing when you the techniques of players like Sibley and Burns. 

 

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