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Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017 at 7:41 AM
EastCoastExile  (Login EastCoastExile)

 
Reading in one sitting Duncan Hamilton's new book 'The Kings of Summer', a beautiful description of the Middlesex v Yorkshire match last September (hugely recommended for anyone who was or wasn't there), I was struck yet again by how little is being done and said to prevent the glory that is the county championship being slowly and deliberately destroyed by the ECB. Hamilton isn't alone in appreciating the magnificent ending to last year's competition but his evocative day-by-day story of the hugely exciting game watched by 20,000 is a reminder that unless Harrison and Strauss and co are not challenged they will simply bury the four day game without a whimper within a few years.

So my question is - why isn't there more anger? Have those who care given up and concluded that there is nothing that can be done to prevent the tide of T20 overwhelming the longer form? At the very least, why isn't the ECB being forced to justify its actions more often and explain where they see the four day game heading?

 
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Dewsburian
(Login Dewsburian)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 8:59 AM 

That game last season is being romanticized a bit. It was a good match in itself, but the fact that an official connected with one team was allowed to exclude a player from the other reflected a competition whose integrity had already been holed below the waterline. For what it's worth, I thought Yorkshire played a strong hand quite badly at Lord's, but I don't think they were beaten "fair and square" as was the case at Scarborough in 2013 when Durham showed themselves to be worthy winners of the CC.

Everyone I've heard speaking about the future of the CC at Edgbaston over the last couple of days has sounded angry or despairing. The commonest themes are that the new competition doesn't fit with our traditions of loyalty to county, won't actually make any money, that the counties have been outflanked by what I heard described yesterday as a "Graves-Harrison powergrab", and that nothing can be done to stop it because the test-match counties are intimidated by the financial arguments. If county members had their say, I'm sure it would be scuppered, but they're not the target audience. As one person said yesterday at the City End of the ground - "Would CC relegation affect our take from T20? Not at all, because the people who come don't even know what division we're in."



 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 9:07 AM 

There is still a lot of anger and resentment by County members and supporters, but also a feeling of a "lost battle" and there is nothing we can do about the juggernaut leading to county crickets eventual demise. The ECB do not listen to us, they will have their say and get the competitions they want whether it is good for the overall game or not.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 9:26 AM 

A snapshot of some cricket exposure this weekend.

I bought the Daily Telegraph yesterday with its 24 page sports supplement. The first 12 pages were devoted to football with 2 pages being an interview with Hulls manager. Then came several pages of rugby, motor racing, cycling, golf before cricket got a mention on pages 20 and 21 but didn't even stretch to both pages. The bulk was the scoreboards, a huge report on Essex as Cook was playing and a write ip from Durham about their members protest banners about their punishment.

The Yorkshire game was covered in one paragraph in the round up of other games, of which there were six as all 18 counties were playing so Coads bowling display failed to get a mention.

I then turned on TV and the sky boys seemed to be showing three IPL games back to back. With half the England squad playing or commentating it seemed.

The quality broadsheets don't care, the tv companies don't care and The ECB don't care for the county championship.

Thank god for cricinfo for informative, quality journalism and support of the proper county game and people like Hopps and Dobell who keep banging the county drum. Otherwise the performances of Coad, Jordan Clark, Tom Lawrence, and even Luke Fletcher would pass everyone by obliviously. Well until they started playing for England.....

 
 
Steve C
(Login stevecowton)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 11:04 AM 

(Hi Chris - i looked for you on Friday but obviously our paths didn't cross...)

I don't share the apocalyptic vision i'm afraid.
Cricket has always changed and evolved and i'm sure it will survive this period in some form or other and we'll still have a four day game even if it might become partly amateur in some way..
I was getting misty-eyed about the possibility of second division cricket next year - i'd quite fancy going to watch us play at Bristol or Northampton again to be honest.
As i get older i enjoy the daily contest more than the overall league position to be honest

 
 

Guest
(Login dpressed)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 11:51 AM 

The problem is simple. The ECB hold the money & he would pays the piper calls the tune. Sadly IMO it will mean the end of the Championship as a spectator sport. Wel'll have 10 matches a year with more players being interested in T20. County members will become a thing of the past.

I really hope that I'm wrong.

 
 
MikeBrc
(Login MikeBrc)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 12:17 PM 

Don't think this has been posted here, the first part of George Dobell's Day 1 Report on the Yorkshire v Warwickshire game is about the ECB'S attitude to the County Championship.

" it seems the ECB has lost faith in its own products and is therefore prepared to risk their health in search of something new....You could make a strong case that the ECB represents one of the most serious threats to the future of Test cricket."

http://www.espncricinfo.com/county-cricket-2017/content/story/1092208.html


 
 
East Coast Type
(Login EastCoastType)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 3:26 PM 

I guess much will depend on how successful the new competition is in 2020. It certainly promises to be a bizarre spectacle: the ECB, desperate for the City Thrash to succeed, frantically competing against the competitor product, which it also owns.

Presumably, the T20 Blast will come first as well in 2020, in June/early July, leading to the temptation for the ECB to send out the message of 'don't waste your money going to that cr*p, save it for the real deal'. Suffice to say, it is no surprise that GB mentions that nearly all of the ECB advertising budget is going into the new competition.

There has to be a possibility that the outcome in 2020 will be between two stools - the cricket pound is divided between the two competitions. The ECB then would have to double-down and act to end the T20 Blast, causing more divisions with the counties, indeed probably forcing an end-game.

In fact, it is possible that the ECB knows that two tournaments is not viable and that it fully plans on scrapping the T20 Blast before 2020. It will let things settle down a bit after the recent vote, but then make its next move in that direction, possibly next winter.

You would like to think that another factor might be the culture and sport department and the culture and sport select committee (the latter is likely to care more). The new supporters association GB mentions should be encouraging the latter to take interest in how the game is being run (conflicts of interest, confidentiality agreements, excessive closeness to certain media groups, etc.)

 
 
Leg Glance
(Login legglance)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 4:31 PM 

I think there's plenty of anger and frustration with the frustration coming from being impotent.

No matter whaat the paying spectator says or does the ECB wil do what they want.

 
 
CaravanShaker
(Login CaravanShaker)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 7:44 PM 

I think you're being a bit pessimistic regarding press coverage. The fact is that print sales are way down, so the tendency is to fill the print editions with stuff the most people might want to buy the paper for. Look online and there's quite a bit there - The Guardian live blog is particularly good, i think.

We also have streaming of some games, and full commentary - overall, I've already seen more cricket, heard more cricket, and read about more cricket this season in my kitchen in south London than i did in any year growing up in York.

It's there for the people who want it. It's not necessarily the fault of the messenger if there aren't many people who do.

 
 
Sid
(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 10:07 PM 

I'm angry but I also sense a, admittedly very small, fight back by those who love county cricket. Obviously George Dobell but also Vic Marks and others have written positively about the county championship and started to question how 'Team England' are being unfair to the wider game. The BBC were keen to publish how many listened online to the first round of the CC and the Guardian must get huge amounts of traffic to their rolling championship coverage or bluntly they wouldn't bother.

If the ECB push any more against the counties and, as suggested above, look to move against the 'all county' T20 blast I suspect they'll be surprised at the fight the shires may show.

I just wish the counties had been stronger about the 16 to 14 game reduction in the championship. That was a fight they should have fought.

Th game is not over.

 
 
Guest
(Login BrickyardBoy)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 10:22 PM 

Sid

I agree with you about the reduction from 16 to 14. It was an issue on which the forces of tradition had a strong case, not least because the proposal/new dispensation was/is completely illogical. Perhaps we should start a campaign to reverse the decision.(?)


    
This message has been edited by BrickyardBoy on Apr 16, 2017 10:22 PM


 
 
Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 10:48 PM 

The plans are for the Natwest T20 blast to move to 3 groups of 6 teams rather than the present 2 groups of 9 teams in 2020. If they moved to do that earlier the T20 group stages could be reduced from the overblown 14 matches each to a more manageable 10 matches each as early as next season.

With 4 days saved plus a travel day for each match that would allow for eight extra days to re-instate the two lost CC matches and equalise the number of teams in Div 1 and Div 2 again.

It would even things up all round with both the CC and the T20 teams each playing each other home and away to produce a fairer outcome.


 
 
Dewsburian
(Login Dewsburian)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 16 2017, 11:12 PM 

Hi Steve. I don't think I'm being apocalyptic, but sporting competitions are mortal, as we can see from something once as sacred as the FA Cup. But it's a complicated question and I'm struggling for time with work commitments (and the allotment of course). I hope to catch up with you soon - perhaps the one-dayer at Trent Bridge towards the end of the month? Perhaps we can put the world to rights again. Heaven knows it needs it.
On the general question - why not more anger? - I think I'm broadly in agreement with George Dobell. If the cricket administrators appear to have given up on the county championship, who can members and supporters turn to?

 
 
Steve C
(Login stevecowton)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 17 2017, 9:46 AM 

I hope to be at Trent Bridge - see you there perhaps...

 
 
Gavin Gray
(Login yorkie1863)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 17 2017, 12:48 PM 

I live in Hull and the Hull Daily Mail had decent Yorkshire cricket match reports, suddenly Yorkshire cricket vanished from that paper. Haven't bought it since. I now read The Cricket Paper which has brilliant coverage from international down to the ECB premier leagues.
All media should give cricket the respect and coverage it deserves.

 
 
Guest
(Login ThirdUmpire)

Re: Why isn't there more anger?

April 17 2017, 2:04 PM 

Agree re cricket paper but its weekly and by time you read it the games have moved on

 
 
 
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