Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Oh dear David Morgan

The results are in, and it's not good news. After consulting with "in excess of 300 individuals including players, supporters, media, coaches, county chairmen, county chief executives and ECB officials" David Morgan has got almost everything wrong.

First, let's start with the good news, one day cricket is going back to 50 overs. This is fairly good news in that it brings England back in line with ODI cricket, which is played over 50 overs, but some will be sad to see 40 overs go, given how the format takes some of the middle overs, which can become fairly predictable, away.

Now on to the bad news, and I think it's best to start with the ridiculous reduction of County Championship games to fourteen. Sixteen games was itself a reduction from the days of a one division championship, when teams used to play in excess of twenty or thirty games in a season. Of course, that reduction was needed with the introduction  of one day cricket, and the switch to two divisions turned out to be an excellent move. So why are they still tinkering?

From the ridiculous, to the just plain odd: the jumbled up nature of the fixture calender has been a source of annoyance to many people for a while, so why has Morgan decided on mixing it up even more? Now he recommends starting County Chanpionship matches "on Fridays in the early season, on Sundays in mid-season, and Mondays at the end of the season."

Now to the Very Silly Point review, I haven't consulted with "in excess of 300 individuals," and I haven't been ECB and ICC chairman, but I think I can think of some better suggestions.

1) County Championship games stay at 16, that part of the system works fine
2) Start Championship games on a Wednesday, so they finish on a Saturday
3) Play the one day competition on a Sunday, back to back games between the same teams.
4) Play T20 matches on Monday and Tuesday evenings (and Wednesday/Thursday) if there's no Championship
5) Reduce T20 to 10 games in the regular season, with three groups of six, and eight teams going through to the quarter finals, two automatically and two best third placed teams, just like the old system.

Done, how simple was that? I realise that this isn't a perfect system, but I think it's a damn sight better than the Morgan Review.


  1. "3) Play the one day competition on a Sunday, back to back games between the same teams."

    The only problem with that is that it's OK when they're in the same division but when a team gets relegated from CC but not 50 overs it gets complicated.

    Agree about the move to 14 games - potentially have a champion who played 2 games against the weakest teams in the division and only 1 against the strongest.

  2. Good point, maybe having a group stage with the teams the same as the CC divisions would sort that out... not sure how fair that would be though.

    I'm sure that back to back games could be sorted out most weeks, then when there aren't CC games, play the games that can't be tagged on to CC games.