Durham CCC Chair Ian Botham Criticizes Cricket's Transfer System
Durham County Cricket Club Chair Ian Botham criticized cricket's transfer system and the "potential conflict of interest when county coaches act as England selectors" after a "promising young all-rounder" left Durham to join Nottinghamshire, according to Elizabeth Ammon of the LONDON TIMES. Paul Coughlin's move on Monday "provoked a hard-hitting statement from Botham," who called for counties to be rewarded for producing players through their academies. He also "hit out at county directors of cricket who are England selectors," as is the case with Mick Newell at Nottinghamshire and Angus Fraser at Middlesex. Botham said, "It concerns me that the current arrangements within cricket do not reward counties that invest in academies and produce exciting young English players. The ECB [England & Wales Cricket Board] is currently reviewing its partnership agreement with the counties and Durham will be making strong representations to properly reward those that invest in the development of local talent" (LONDON TIMES, 9/19). The BBC reported Durham head coach Jon Lewis said that compensation would "soften the blow" of players leaving a county but warns a transfer system could "bring problems." Coughlin's move to Nottinghamshire for '18 without recompense caused Botham to call for fees to be paid to sign players. About the exit of Coughlin, Lewis said, "It does feel pretty harsh. However a transfer system could bring its own problems, perhaps it's something of a double-edged sword." He added, "It won't (a change to the system) make everything great because we want top players to play for Durham but, if they are going to go, some money might help" (BBC, 9/20).