Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen (Image Credit: Twitter)

With the success of the ongoing inaugural edition of The Hundred, former England swashbuckling batsman Kevin Pietersen has called for the ECB to establish a franchise or city-based red-ball cricket league instead of the counties to provide the much-needed impetus in the longer format in England.

Kevin Pietersen pointed out that the ECB has prioritized limited-overs cricket since 2015 – this resulted in them winning their maiden 50-over ICC World Cup a couple of years ago, and have grown a deep bench strength in white-ball cricket.

However, because of this, the Test team in England have suffered from inconsistency in wins even at home, and series losses in India, New Zealand, and Australia. They, recently, lost their first Test series at home in 7 years when the Kiwi outplayed them.

England Cricket Team, ICC World Test Championship
England Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Kevin Pietersen’s belief is that since some counties offer little to the national side in terms of quality players, they should be clubbed together into a franchise-type team that will get more attention from the audience.

“The ECB decided in 2015 to prioritise white ball cricket. They won the WC & now have a franchise tournament. Now is the time to franchise red ball cricket. Strengthen all the teams. Good players survive, others don’t. Test cricket will die if they don’t!” Kevin Pietersen tweeted.

By franchising red ball county cricket, I mean combining 3/4 counties together, like The (Hundred). Play 8-10 four day games a summer. The best players survive. There’s way too many average players calling themselves 1st class cricketers! That’s how you create red ball depth!”

Maybe one day the ECB will listen to me: Kevin Pietersen

The 41-year-old has for long endorsed such unique ideas to better the game in England and produce high-quality players, but the board had been at discord from his playing days. The former captain requests ECB to not “KILL” Test cricket in the country. England finished fourth in the maiden WTC cycle as they Test side, in batting and the spin-bowling department remains a major concern.

Kevin Pietersen, India, England
Kevin Pietersen. Image-Twitter.

“And maybe one day the ECB will listen to me. I’ve called for franchise cricket for 10yrs in this country and check the viewing numbers on TV now – they’re UNREAL! Don’t KILL Test Cricket, @englandcricket! JUST DON’T!” Kevin Pietersen  added.

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