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Re: 3 conference County Championship
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 18/01/2018 19:59
An article about this has appeared on Cricbuzz, which says that the proposals were made by Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur and their director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

Now I have read the proposals in detail, I actually like the sound of it. Six complaints which I have heard made of the current structure are that 10 counties begin each season unable to win the County Championship title, that many counties feel under pressure to think short-term in order to retain/attain division one status, that only 7 counties get prize money, that many teams in division two end the season with little to play for, that teams can go several seasons without playing a particular opponent in the Championship, and that players in division two are unable to face top-quality opposition. A conference system would go some way - if not the whole way - to removing those issues.

It is also great that it is anticipated that the new system would help sustain the existence of an 18-county structure, as some people have expressed fears that the arrival of the city-based Twenty20 competition may be a precursor to first-class and/or List A cricket being played by cities as opposed to counties.

Still, we will have to see whether a conference system would solve other issues, such as there not being much Championship cricket in the core summer months for supporters to watch and spinners to play in.

An article on Cricinfo says that an alternative format would be initially having two conferences of nine, and that ECB may be more favourable to that due to it meaning that each county would play 13 matches instead of 15.

If the proposals are implemented (not that there are any indications that it will be), let's hope that no-one finds it confusing!

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