England National Cricket Team Test skipper Ben Stokes, Middlesex County Cricket Club and Kent County Cricket Club are not happy with the proposal of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reduce the number of County Championship matches, as per reports.
Under the guidance of Andrew Strauss, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) completed a “high-performance review” and published the report with 17 recommendations, reported mirror.co.uk.
If the reports are to be believed, one of the recommendations stated that the County Championship should be a three-division competition, with a six-team top division and two secondary conferences where the winners face each other for one promotion spot each year.
If the proposed format is implemented, the 18 first-class county clubs will play fewer matches, with each side “set to play four less T20 Blast matches and up to four less Championship games.”
Meanwhile, England Test captain Ben Stokes is against reducing the number of County Championship matches. While reacting to a report in The Cricketer magazine, which spotlighted the overwhelming opposition to the reduction in the number of County Championship matches, Ben Stokes tweeted, “Ab so bloody lutley” along with two clapping hands emojis.
We will not allow our Club to be rendered irrelevant – Kent County Cricket Club chairman
The Kent County Cricket Club chairman Simon Philip responded to the proposal of the England and Wales Cricket Board, asserting:
“The Strauss Review is a wide-ranging and comprehensive document. However, it should be remembered that it has been prepared through the prism of High Performance only. The two key areas for our Club — domestic structure and scheduling — remain within the discretion of the 18 First Class Counties.
“Within this group, we will now consider issues such as the needs of all our Members, supporters, players and stakeholders, the financial impact, the unintended consequences and the possibly irrevocable change to the essential nature of County Cricket.
“Kent Cricket is a fundamental part of our community, committed to supporting the growth of the Men’s and Women’s game at all levels. We continue to deliver success on the field, produce players for England and support one of the largest recreational and schools cricket populations in the country. We will not allow our Club to be rendered irrelevant.”
Also, the Middlesex County Cricket Club is not in favour of the County Championship matches being reduced.
“We strenuously wish to underline our position on being opposed to any reduction in the volume of first-class cricket played across the season and most importantly the County Championship, and we firmly stand behind our belief that this should remain at 14 games over the season,” said a statement from the county side.
Get All Cricket match prediction and fantasy Tips – CLICK HERE