County Champions Could Receive £1M If ECB Adopts New Proposals
The county champions could receive £1M ($1.4M) in prize money if "new proposals to replace the present divisional structure of domestic cricket with a conference system are adopted" by the England & Wales Cricket Board, according to Paul Edwards of the LONDON TIMES. Further details have emerged of the plans "by which the 18 counties would be split into three six-team conferences of roughly equal strength," with the teams playing one another home and away. Depending on "their final positions in each of these groups" after 10 games, the counties would "then be divided into three further conferences and would play the other teams in that conference just once." The new proposals have been drawn up by Yorkshire CEO Mark Arthur and Headingley Dir of Cricket Martyn Moxon, although both men "stress that they are acting in their personal capacities rather than as representatives of the county club." The hope is that the system "will revive interest in four-day cricket among a few counties" in Division Two that currently appear to have "slim hopes of winning promotion and little chance of keeping their best players, many of whom have progressed through their academies" (LONDON TIMES, 1/18).