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Future of county based cricket

September 16 2016 at 10:08 AM
Chris Barron  (Login Danum)

I'm starting this new thread as I think the one thats been running a couple of days needs to take a new direction and we need to start taking some action.

I'll start by copying an email I have sent to Yorkshire CCC today.

For the attention of Mark Arthur, Chief Executive - please also copy to Steve Denison, Chairman

Dear Mr Arthur

Further to my email of 14 September to which I still expect a reply by close of business today.

I am caused to write further by the report in The Times today of how counties were surprised and outmanoeuvred by the ECB in forcing a vote on one option out of four at Wednesday’s meeting. I have also noted that several counties’ websites carry statements from their chief officers about their position, which seems to reflect a somewhat different situation from that portrayed in the ECB’s statement about the implication of the vote. But from Yorkshire there has been total silence. I looked in vain for some statement, but at such a time, the website’s biggest ‘news’ is about the forthcoming Gala Dinner.

I can tell you there are many members who are at best apprehensive and disillusioned and at worst angered by the apparent about-turn from this county in voting for this one option. It is for these reasons that I say to you that continued silence is untenable and that you will lose the support of members without making an attempt today to explain the county’s position.

In addition to wanting to know that position, members will also want to know how meaningful consultation with members is to take place. My previous email asked if you will call an EGM. Bearing in mind also the reports that the ECB is intent on further voting at a full board meeting in October, you need also to be swift in your consultation. For these reasons you cannot allow another day to go by in silence.

Finally, there is the question of consultation on what exactly? The reports suggest there is a complete lack of detail in the ECB’s proposal, which makes the notion of a board vote in October wholly untenable. Again, you need to clarify this and explain Yorkshire’s position.

I look forward to you taking action on these matters today, and I remind you again of the need to respond to me by close of business today at which point I will consider what my next steps are to be.

Kind regards

My intention is that the club should hold, by force if necessary, an Extraordinary General Meeting of members on this proposal by the ECB. To force an EGM it is necessary to collect 400 members' signatures in a petition. This is a challenge in itself when home-based cricket has ceased. We can fully expect that the club will not release membership lists to facilitate such a petition. So I am starting with this forum to gauge the support for such a move. If you support such a move I need you, in addition to posting a reply on here, to send me your membership number, name and address to the email address below. If you know of other members who are not part of this forum please make them aware of this, and ask them to write to the email address with their details.

Quite apart from the challenge of mobilising this in double quick time, given the ECB's stated intentions for final decisions, there is one other fly in the ointment. On Tuesday next I depart for America for 5 weeks, a commitment long in the planning and now unavoidable. I will need at least one person to volunteer to administer this in my absence. I will still be contactable by email to help steer it through the inevitable pitfalls that may be put in its way. In any case, I can't do this on my own. So at some point, there is a need to form a small group to manage this campaign beyond the mere gathering of a petition. We may at some stage need some legal advice, so anyone with a legal background would be most welcome.

As I say, I am gauging support at this stage and this is the only place I am aware of to start. Any further suggestions welcome. If on the other hand, there is little or no support for my proposed petition, I will quietly withdraw.

The email address is saveourcricket@outlook.com

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(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Future of county based cricket

September 16 2016, 12:06 PM 

You will get my support depending on what happens next, but lets wait and see what the response from the club is first. They may call an EGM themselves and it could be 3 or 4 years before we need to do anything ourselves, as I am sure there will be several other meetings, including 3 of our own AGM`s, before any final agreement.

This message has been edited by StuartRA on Sep 16, 2016 5:24 PM

Chris Barron
(Login Danum)

Re: Future of county based cricket

September 20 2016, 8:18 AM 

Well I can now tell you that Mark Arthur at YCCC has failed to respond to my email about Yorkshire's stance on city based T20 and the fact the club has apparently reversed its previous public utterances that it would never support such a proposal. Nor has the club made any public statement about how it came to support the ECB's proposals last week. It plainly does not see that it has any obligation to explain itself to members.

I fully appreciate that everyone's focus at the moment is on the more immediate task of winning the Championship, starting today. I shall be at Lords myself today, but as I explained in the original post, I am off to Ameica for five weeks tonight. With this in mind, I must say I have been surprised at the apparent lack of interest in my post that suggested what might actually be done to challenge this madness. I did get a few emails in support, but the lack of response on here is deafening. When the Championship is done and dusted, whatever the outcome, these crazy proposals will still be there. The ECB isn't going away. Colin Graves and his henchmen will be back in October trying to push ahead with them.

Now, based on what I read about the more principled stand being taken by some of the other counties, I would be very surprised if they can really get what they want in time to turn these vague ideas into reality by 2018. I said in my OP that if there was a lack of support, I would quietly withdraw. So I shall watch developments over the next month from afar over the next month.

To those who took the trouble to email, thank you for indicating your support. For the time being we'll keep our powder dry.

(Login Blackpooltyke)

Re: Future of county based cricket

September 20 2016, 8:43 AM 

Trying to stop the further development of t20 is a bit like trying to stop the tide from coming in.

I appreciate what you are saying and that you are trying to do something about it.

However, the only way to curb t20 is to make first class cricket more attractive to the paying public.

I have often likened t20 to a circus, but in truth its more like american baseball. wham bam thank you ma'am, lots of razzamataz and fireworks and music, great entertainment to be honest, but totally devoid of standard cricketing skills and tactics.

Who the hell cares, whether the bowler is bowling googlies, off break, leg spin or whatever, all the people wanna see is the ball being hit for a home run...oh sorry for 6.

thats great for entertainment.

But the problem is that any new cricket fans will be thoroughly entertained by that and will never venture to a boringly slow 4 day game.

So somehow, someway, we are gonna have to make the 4 day game much more attractive.

That has to start with penalising clubs who make roads and call them pitches. doing away with early finishes and perhaps more importantly getting the game on free to air television, on a regular basis.

Last week, radio 5 extra started off covering our game against somerset, as that became an obvious win for somerset they switched to the middlesex game as they threatened to force a win, when that became fruitless, they switched again to the durham surrey game that had a grand stand finish. Why could BBC radio 4 not do that.

Yes, I know its contractual, but the ecb could sell the 4 day game separately to a free to air channel for a knock down price.

Sports such as american football and snooker have grown enormously in this country all down to tv coverage. So too could 4 day county cricket.

Chris Barron
(Login Danum)

Re: Future of county based cricket

September 20 2016, 8:59 AM 


To be clear, I am not trying to stop the T20 proposals. What I am (or was) trying to do is hold YCCC to account for its decision to support the ECB's proposals against all previous statements from the club. I have little doubt the ECB will get its way one way or another. The issues for us are - what wil Yorkshire call any team that operates under its patronage, will it merely acquiesce in allowing Headingley to be used as a venue, what effect will this have on the schedule, will YCC allow its contracted players to take part and with what impact on the county side. There may not be any answers to these issues just now, but the club ought to be accountable to its members before it makes those decisions.

(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: Future of county based cricket

September 20 2016, 9:03 AM 


You have my support for what it's worth but this has been expressed on multiple other threads and I get bored of saying the same thing.

I prefer four day cricket. I think it's the proper version of the game, it has more skills required, it produces better players and it can provide more excitement and memories in one game than t20 can over a whole season. But your average wrf poster is like me and your average t20 supporter probably does not post on here unless there is a Yorkshire t20 taking place. And it is of course now the football season....

I get the financial case for needing to find some way of getting cricket to be more self financing rather than see counties in debt. We at Yorkshire are in debt now due to the failings of the club's board and management to have secured their home ground for decades leading up to the ground purchase and new pavilion about five years ago. It's not the current board to blame, it's their predecessors.

But if you flood the market with too much of the same product then punters will eventually get bored and want something else. I see no place for two t20 competitions. One is enough if organised and structured correctly. Play it in one block as they do in India and Australia so the big stars will come and play. Avoid the constant switch from one format to the other to keep punters interested. And to allow four day old farts the chance to disappear for the month....

Franchises? All a bit daft to me and not sure fans will align themselves to a franchise.

I would have one t20 over a month with two divisions of 10 teams. 18 counties, Ireland and Scotlsnd say. It works in the CC.

Then those counties who fear losing out on the franchises will still get s t20 tournament running concurrently with the other division. Promotion and relegation to apply so the big test grounds don't just all play in the top division.

Ensure England player availability throughout.

As for Yorkshire voting in favour could they do anything else when they are over a barrel with Mr Graves holding all the financial aces?

Thanks for guaranteeing all our debts Colin. The Board have met in the luxurious room your money kindly helped build a few years ago and have decided not to support your latest initiative.....

I think it would be a couple of days before the post girl opened the letter demanding repayment of the loans ....

(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Future of county based cricket

October 3 2016, 8:00 PM 

Did this get anywhere?

The club have been disappointingly quite. There has been no communication, no explanation, nothing!Does anyone know any more?

(Login mihall)

Tweet from Chair Steve Denison

October 4 2016, 6:16 PM 

I asked Steve Denison via Twitter if Yorkshire would be consulting on T20 proposals. His reply was that "not formally but would listen to all views expressed".

Peter (Don)
(Login Yfactor)

T20 Proposals - Consultation

October 4 2016, 8:09 PM 

These extracts taken from Yorkshire Post 16th Sept 2016…

“The ECB release added: "First-class counties will carry out wider consultation on the proposal - while the PCA will address its full membership, all with the support of ECB before discussion by the ECB board”.

(Somerset promised to consult their membership…)

"That process will take some time, but a preliminary consultation with the club's general committee will take place on Monday September 19, and a first consultation event with 2016 Somerset CCC members will take place after the completion of play on September 20.”

“The next step will be for the England and Wales Cricket Board to formally consider the proposal at its board meeting on October 18.”

If Yorkshire are to consult the membership about the T20 proposals they only have 14 days left - obviously they don`t intend doing so.

This message has been edited by Yfactor on Oct 4, 2016 8:11 PM

(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: T20 Proposals - Consultation

October 5 2016, 7:13 AM 

I don't think consulting with the membership will give much they don't already know.

When they consulted with the membership over what to play at Scarborough they got 80% in favour of two CC matches rather than any one day stuff. You could have guessed that without a survey.

Likewise here the membership will reject t20 franchise plans as the membership are not those who tend to go to t20 and I suspect most members will have a primary interest in four day cricket.

The other problem is that this sort of consultation does not get any better the higher up the ladder you go within cricket at the ICC or ECB with ham fisted, short sighted, money grabbing decisions taking priority over common sense and long term interests of the game.

Peter (Don)
(Login Yfactor)

Re: T20 Proposals - Consultation

October 5 2016, 3:32 PM 

The only conclusion then is that Yorkshire and the ECB regard County members as a problem who are a threat to the progress and future of English Cricket.

And I thought that by paying my YCCC Membership every year and supporting the Yorkshire Pride Lottery I was helping Yorkshire develop young cricketers some of who would also play for England.

Opening stand
(Login Openingstand)

You can't rely on the electorate!

October 5 2016, 5:30 PM 

"The only conclusion then is that Yorkshire and the ECB regard County members as a problem who are a threat to the progress and future of English Cricket. …."

…..So much so that Yorkshire had to tell us who to vote for last March lest we impeded the fortunes of the Club…

(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 13 2016, 1:51 PM 


Interesting Q&A with Hugh Morris on the Glamorgan forum.

Pity YCCC have not engaged with the membership.

(Login Jacobus24)

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 13 2016, 3:33 PM 

Graves has already made up his mind, I've already said plenty on here and now accept defeat on the matter.

(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 13 2016, 4:45 PM 

Exactly. Graves will get his way, come hell or high water. He always does!!

(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 17 2016, 8:46 PM 

For those wanting a very well informed thread on the city based tournament(CBT) and its implications for county cricket, take a look on the unofficial Sussex fans forum and its discussion 'future of county cricket (or similar). Very well written, some with excellent debate and feedback from a recent ECB forum.

Lets be honest, it's when and how rather than if. On the Sussex forum, there's rumor of a FA cup style comp for non-CBT teams and players to run parallel with the new comp. Further rumour that the CC could be anything from back to 16 games, reduced to 12 or run as three conferences. Its well worth a read.

(Login marskeman)

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 18 2016, 9:50 AM 

The ecb are planning a round of day/night championship matches in 2017. Not looking forward to that.

Idle man
(Login Idle_man)

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 18 2016, 10:56 AM 

And will they get round to mentioning it to any possible spectators or advertising it in any way? Probably not, they'll be too busy promoting what a good time you can have - you don't have to watch any cricket or anything silly like that- if you go to one of the nine match one day series against Easter Island.


(Login dpressed)

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 18 2016, 2:19 PM 

A day/night Championship match was played at Canterbury a few years ago. According to one Kent member (on a general cricket forum) by 8pm it was cold the the vast majority of spectators had gone home by 9.

The people who back it keep going on about getting people in after work. That only works for London & possibly Warlock in Birmingham. For most of us it simply wouldn't be worth fighting our way through traffic to watch a couple of hours in the cold followed by another drive home for a late night


(Login matthefish2002)

Re: You can't rely on the electorate!

October 18 2016, 3:37 PM 

I can see how Day / Night games could possibly work for Test Matches so people can watch on TV after work but County Championship games not at all.

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