Counties wait for ECB approval on August restart plan

The return of county cricket could come a phase closer this week when the ECB’s cricket committee assessment proposals for the game’s restart.

As uncovered by ESPNcricinfo, ideas were being drawn up by the Qualified Match Team (PGG) at the conclude of Could that envisaged a return of some first-class from August 1, with T20 subsequent a several weeks afterwards. The PGG comprises various county main executives which includes Surrey’s Richard Gould and Sussex’s Rob Andrew.

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Now all those ideas, acquiring been talked about and amended in consultation with the first-class counties and the MCC, will be talked about by the ECB cricket committee on Friday. If that committee, which is chaired by previous England captain Andrew Strauss, see them positively, they will be despatched to the ECB board for acceptance in the subsequent week. At all levels, the ECB will need govt acceptance to development.

The main of the ideas has hardly changed. Underneath the favoured alternative, the first-class opposition – it will not be known as the ‘County Championship’ – would be split into 3 regional groups with six groups in every single. They would, for that reason, play five matches every single, with two groups progressing to a five-day last to be staged at Lord’s at the conclude of September. The opposition would have no bearing on promotion and relegation and is witnessed extremely much as a 1-off resolution to a exceptional problem.

“I really don’t imagine any person believes it can be known as the County Championship,” Derek Bowden, the Essex main govt, told ESPNcricinfo. “It would certainly be value profitable, but it is not going to be the County Championship and there definitely is not going to be promotion and relegation.”

The start off of the T20 Blast opposition would be scheduled some weeks afterwards in the hope that some spectators may perhaps be authorized to go to from September onwards. The last of that opposition is scheduled to be played, as has turn out to be customary, at Edgbaston.

The 2nd alternative outlined would only see the T20 opposition staged this calendar year. There is not, at existing, any room for 50-in excess of cricket within the proposals. But it has been proposed that, if ideas for first-class cricket ought to falter – and it is approved that scheduling inns could verify problematic – the Royal London Cup could be revived in its put.

It is comprehended that a wide greater part of counties have expressed at the very least cautious assist for the proposals, although 1 or two – notably Northamptonshire – have more reservations in excess of the charges of using squads off furlough without the need of the assure of ticket profits to mitigate the price.

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While an August 1 start off date may perhaps appear to be distant, it would need prompt action from the recreation. Not only would most squads have to have to be taken off furlough – only the players at Surrey and Lancashire have not been furloughed – but education would have to have to start off various weeks forward of any online games.

“The goal is to have players again on July 1,” Bowden stated. “The goal is to start off the year on or about August 1, and bring players again a month just before that to give them a month’s education. That’s nonetheless to be confirmed, both at a healthcare and operational amount, but that’s the ambition.

“There is a cost concerned in participating in guiding shut doors, but the range 1 goal is to play cricket. Then our supporters and users, irrespective of whether it is by way of Television or streaming, can in fact view stay competitive activity, which is great for them and great for the country.

“The wide greater part [of counties] assist it. There may perhaps be 1 or two who are searching at the maths, and I can understand that, but to me the goal of participating in stay activity is overriding.

“The general general public needs stay leisure. It is really critical. It can lift folks. Giving it is protected, and offering we are not endangering anybody, bringing stay activity again into the households of people today is definitely good.”

Added reporting: Matt Roller