Proposals To ECB Call For Overhaul Of County Cricket Championship
The County Championship "could be split into three conferences -- with promotion and relegation scrapped" -- under proposals put to the England & Wales Cricket Board, according to Elizabeth Ammon of the LONDON TIMES. Officials from six counties said that they would be in favor of the "radical overhaul" that would introduce six-team conferences, with 10 group matches and playoffs to determine a champion. Although no formal discussions have taken place, the issue has reportedly been raised with ECB CEO Tom Harrison and will be discussed again when the ECB meets the county chairs and CEOs over the next few months. The three conferences "could either be regional or drawn randomly each year as the one-day competition groups used to be." There is also a belief among most county execs that the £1.3M ($1.8M) each club will receive when the £1.1B ($1.52B) broadcasting deal starts in '20 -- to coincide with the new domestic T20 franchise tournament -- will help the non-test match counties. This is because smaller clubs, which do not have large debts to pay off, "will have more money to spend on wages" (LONDON TIMES, 1/17).