WARWICKSHIRE'S DIRECTOR OF SPORT TALKS T20
With the new eight-team T20 tournament on the horizon, Warwickshire’s director of sport has urged the need to “get on with it”.
For many the tournament represents an exciting new era in English cricket. For others it represents the end of the traditional 18-county system as we know it.
The former England spinner accepts there will be stumbling blocks to negotiate and recognises the fears of many supporters. In particular that the new competition may cause counties to lose their identity with home-grown players potentially representing geographically-alien teams. Think Joe Root turning out for the Red Rose or Ben Stokes representing the Southern Shire Horses.
“Are you allowed to use home-grown players? At the moment it looks like all the players will go into a draft, which is exciting, but if Ian Bell and Chris Woakes can’t play at Edgbaston, you lose a bit of that local connection.
“The thing with this new competition is that the devil was always going to be in the detail, but that isn’t a reason for us not do it. There’s lots to talk about, but ultimately, we’re on the eve of something new, let’s crack on with it.”
Speaking alongside Giles, Middlesex’s director of cricket, Angus Fraser reiterated the need for a new competition regardless of the complexities the ECB face in introducing it.
“Trying to keep everybody happy is an impossible job, but I think there is an acceptance that something needs to be done. There is a need for this new tournament."
One of many things that remains unknown, is how a new T20 tournament will work alongside the existing NatWest T20 Blast. Fraser does not see a new competition as an immediate threat to the T20 Blast, a worthy competition in its own right, one that has seen ticket sales on the rise.
“I still think the Blast is a good tournament and you see English cricketers going around the world and performing well [in other domestic T20 leagues]. The Blast is not a Mickey-Mouse tournament by any means.
“I understand that there will be fears, it will affect counties in different ways. I think there is an acceptance that the game in this country will benefit from a new T20 competition.”