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WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 21 2017 at 6:37 PM

Alex  (Premier Login AlexRoberts)

So, let me get this straight: by the time the County Championship is rebooted AGAIN, it will be one month since Yorkshire's last County Championship match. That's a month with almost no mention of the competition in the media, no highlights in the news or video clips on the Internet, no mention of its history or great records or even a listing of current player statistics in the national media. Any fan interest and momentum that may have been generated in the earlier segments, has now largely dissipated and tthe competition faces the beginning of the soccer season in which to try to reprise interest.

Is it just me, or does anyone else share my view that this disjointed, stop-start approach to the CC actually reduces interest in the Championship and trivializes the competition as an end-of-season afterthought?

There must be a better way - other than sending the "giant brains" and Dunning-Kruger sufferers at the ECB to a penal colony,


This message has been edited by AlexRoberts on Aug 21, 2017 11:14 PM

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(Login littleoldme.)

Fixture itinery

August 21 2017, 7:36 PM 

Agreed. The fixture list has been awful this year. We are now in a position where the team has no matches for 17 days. The County Championship fixtures are beyond belief. One match ( which finished at 5-20 on the 2nd day) since early July. In effect we have had two days of Championship cricket in two months! If "they" have their way we will have about 40 or so twentytwenty matches in a season and at best around 8 Championship games.
A Buchan


(Login dpressed)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 21 2017, 8:03 PM 

I keep worrying where the future Championship followers will come from. When I was a lad there was regular Saturday cricket. So if it looked like it was going to be a nice day you'd check if Yorkshire were at home.

Apart from Scarborough, which is a special one off, regulars often have problems knowing if there's a match so 'casual' followers don't have a hope. Add in the fact that the first team has already played its last weekend day's cricket at home and you get an aging market of retired people and those who spend their holidays from work watching Yorkshire.

I worry that in 10-20 years time the Championship as we know it will have gone. So it won't matter that there's no one left to watch it

Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)


August 21 2017, 9:23 PM 

I have to agree that the CC has suffered due to the blocking of the shorter formats.

I do like the blocking but there is so much dead time built in. Some teams play on consecutive days then get a week off. The T20 group games seem to have taken an age to get through and I'm sure the Quarter-finals don't really need a day each.

How anyone could argue that we couldn't have got another 2 CC games in and stayed with 2 x 9 team divisions is beyond me.

I don't buy it that the natural audience for CC is dying off. Unfortunately we are, but surely there is an ever increasing number of oldies following on.

(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 22 2017, 10:35 AM 

The fixture list is disjointed, but looks as if we are stuck with it as the move this season is to "blocked" competitions. While you have them, the CC fixture list will always be split into two or three segments. The only way around it is to revert to CC matches running alongside the two white ball competitions. This, I believe, is what the members, supporters and spectators would prefer, but the players want blocked competitions and I can fully understand their reasoning. Nothing worse than having to switch from one format to another every couple of days.

This season will last 25 weeks. If all teams in the CC played every week that comp would take up 14 weeks. That has not happened this season. A three week block for the 50 over comp (this includes the k/0 stages and Final), and a 4 week block for the T20 (again including quarters and Finals day) still leaves another 4 weeks for University matches, friendlies, touring games, England Lions matches, etc. This also gives ample scope to avoid the clashes we have had this season with the Champions Trophy in the same week as the 50 over quarters & semis, the Lions match the same week as the floodlit CC match and the clash this week with the T20 quarter-finals and the test match.

A 3 week block for the 50 over comp and a 4 week block for the T20 is easily achievable, it justs needs a more streamlined and compacted fixture list. Less gaps between matches. Possibly double headers. With a bit of thought and planning it can be done.

The ODI`s and test matches MUST be in different weeks to when both the whiteball k/o stage & Finals are being played.

A suggestion

First two weeks. --- University matches, 3 rounds of 3 day games. All 18 counties have 1 warm up match v a University team, plus any friendlies they want to arrange.

Weeks 3 to 6. --- 4 rounds of CC matches.

Weeks 7 to 9. --- 50 over comp.

Weeks 10 to 14 --- 5 more rounds of the CC.

Weeks 15 to 18 --- T20 comp.

Weeks 19 to 23 --- last 5 rounds of the CC.

Leaving two spare weeks at the end of the season for ODI`s or have these 2 weeks mid-season for ODI`s, test matches or Lions matches to avoid clashes with CC matches.

Still a disjointed CC, but ,unfortunately, there is no way to avoid that, once you have blocked white ball competitions.

This, of course, will all change in 2020 when the new t20 franchised competition commences. From then it will be a 10 match county based T20 comp early season (6 teams in each group), a 50 over comp and the city based T20 (running alongside each other, at the same time) in July/August and the CC competition (with who knows how many matches). A similar format could still work though.

This message has been edited by StuartRA on Aug 22, 2017 10:39 AM

Nigel W
(Login NorthRiding)

Championship Shedule

August 22 2017, 10:41 AM 

My wife received her regular email from Headingley recently. They were of course alerting her to the upcoming excitement of the Test match, and attempting to sell us tickets for said event. However, their choice of words, (Victorious England needs you...) left a sour taste given that I have seen 1 day of cricket this season. For anyone interested I have included below a reply I sent yesterday by email.

Re – Victorious England need me this Friday.
Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your mailing regarding the Test Match at Headingley. Victorious England will not be seeing me this Friday, nor any of the days of this fixture. Sadly I am not available this weekend, nor indeed for the foreseeable future with regard to international matches at the ground. Our household budget contributes £205 per annum for my husband’s membership of YCCC. In the last three seasons he has seen a mere handful of days of live cricket for this outlay. This season due to the ridiculous scheduling of fixtures he will witness a total of 1 day of cricket for his membership subscription. I realise this is not primarily a YCCC issue. However, the ECB and YCCC will never be able to gain our support for international cricket until domestic first class fixtures are scheduled to give those in full time employment some opportunity to witness the game for which we pay our subscription. All that seems to matter to the governing body of our great game is a preponderance of T20 domestic cricket, and various forms of international cricket. If one is in full time employment we are fortunate to see the first class game beyond a few weekends in April and May. Although I understand that YCCC needs international cricket in order to justify its international stadium, sending reminders about buying Test Match tickets to loyal Yorkshire members, who see little Yorkshire cricket simply adds insult to injury.

I would request that my name is removed from mailing lists for international cricket.

(Login WR_Metcalfe)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 22 2017, 10:47 AM 

I think the fixture bloat came from the switch from 3 groups in 50 or 20 over cricket to 2.

I would look at moving back to three regionalised groups for Twenty20 and randomised groups for 50 over, I know this could create more travel issues, but equally we only play the same teams in one day cricket each year. When was the last time we played Sussex or Glamorgan or Somerset in a one day game? I don't think the local derby theory holds much weight in 50 over cricket, and do we really have derbies with Northants, Leicester or Worcester?

(Login Dwight_Schrute)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 22 2017, 12:55 PM 

Nigel, i understand your frustrations at the lack of weekend Cricket. But why are you still purchasing a £205 membership when it represents no value to you?

(Login NorthRiding)

Championship schedule

August 22 2017, 1:37 PM 

Dear Dwight, You hit the nail on the head. From a financial perspective it is pointless. From a common sense perspective it is doesn't make any sense at all. Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic. However, I have always felt that both following and being a member of the county club is part of my identity as a Yorkshireman, so I suppose it goes with the territory. In addition cricket is the only game I follow and I love it. Although it's not a form of the game I like I would attend T20, and this would give me extra games for my subs. However, I'm sure you would agree a 120 mile round trip, taking over 2 and a half hours for 3 hours cricket is a bit bonkers too. Other than the garden I have no other vices on which I spend my money.... (apart from my wife of course!) In addition I hail from a part of Yorkshire that many years ago was supposedly removed from the county, so identifying with YCCC, rather than for instance, Durham as many do in this area, is my way of kicking against the trend. But, perhaps you are right, perhaps I should end 26 years of throwing £200 away, and buy a sky subscription! Mind you don't start me on that subject because in addition to the ECB I don't like them either! Maybe I should change my name to Victor Meldrew! Better stop this rant.... but you did ask!

I would be interested to know if there are others out there who like me still buy a membership, but see little for it.

(Login Dwight_Schrute)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 22 2017, 1:50 PM 

Maybe a Club Yorkshire membership then, you would still have an affiliation with the club. £30, two free tickets included and then £10 per attendance. Would at least be getting what you pay for!

(Login NorthRiding)

Wonky,disjointed Championship Shedule

August 22 2017, 2:20 PM 

Dwight, Sadly, I fear you're right! Thanks for the suggestion.

(Login Papag1)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 22 2017, 3:21 PM 

Yep Club Yorkshire is the only way forward now for me and the good lady, cricket as we all knew it has died so 400 quid received annually by the county from us will now shrink to £50. The wife's not too bothered now after sitting next to a loud man dressed as a giraffe constantly banging olapper sticks along with other alcohol driven distractions at the 20 /20 game against lancs.

(Login Pyrahtechnics)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 23 2017, 2:24 AM 

I was in favour of a 8/10 County Championship format and reducing it to 14 matches, as in theory it would eliminate "bye" rounds and free up 16 days to schedule other cricket. However the fixture schedule looks as congested as ever back in the days of having four domestic competitions.

Though playing competitions in block format allows a better quality of cricket providing players have time to prepare between formats. Naturally there is going to be a hiatus between County Championship cricket when the domestic games biggest payday takes place in peak summer. I would prefer for a 4 week gap in County Championship cricket if it means a better standard of red ball cricket than playing a Blast match on Friday night, followed by a County match on Saturday morning like in previous years where players struggled to get adequate rest let alone adapt between matches.

Geoff B
(Login Coastalview)

Taking change into account

August 23 2017, 8:20 AM 

I'm not sure that the calls for more rest for players between matches or formats is justified.

Fewer and fewer players now play all formats and we have quite a number of first team capped players who spend much of the season not playing the standard of cricket they are employed for.

The workload of the small group who play everything needs to be managed, rather than the season built around them.

(Login Blackpooltyke)

Re: WRF EDITORIAL l The wonky, disjointed Championship schedule

August 24 2017, 8:19 PM 

Like I have said before first class cricket is in its death throes....very soon the 4 day game will cease to exist and test cricket will follow soon after

Future generations will look back at this era as we look back at the timeless test matches.

Teams themselves are at least partially to blame as they are too ready to shake hands and settle for boring draws...is it any wonder people just don't come along to watch this?

Wasn't it just a couple of games ago, against surrey I believe that although it didn't rain all day there was no cricket at all and the teams shook hands around lunchtime and that was with bonus points at stake

Cricket in general needs to realise it is an entertainment industry, and no effort to entertain the paying public is made in fcc.

T20 by its nature is entertaining and that's why it will soon completely take over the once beautiful game.

Sad, I know, but alas true

(Login littleoldme.)

You could be correct Peter

August 24 2017, 11:35 PM 

I am a huge Yorkshire fan and live in Edinburgh. I do enjoy all 3 formats of the game and I would like to see them all looked after for the future by the governing bodies. I still think The County Championship is the premier competition but some youngsters may argue that t20 is the format they like the most. If t20 is "their" format then this format of the game could take over the cricket calendar so we have 40 or so t20 matches a season and a very diluted championship fixture list in the coming years... That for me is what we have to guard against. A lot of countries now have very successful domestic t20 competitions but very few International t20 matches are being played on international tours. There could 5 ODI's but only 1 t20 international arranged. So the fans are loving domestic t20 and are turning out in big numbers. However to over cook the goose in my opinion would be bad for cricket. That's why The ECB should "look after" the 3 formats carefully. A further reduction in Championship matches is NOT on for me and I would protest strongly against it. Finally on subscription matters I will see 5 CC matches this season on my £205 outlay but 2 of these matches were away from home. I saw the home q-f in the RLOD Cup which we lost but sadly this was the only one-day match I could attend from up here in Scotland. I would of gone to t20 Finals Day like I did last year as I'm off work September 2nd but of course the team didn't make it through.
A Buchan

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