The ECB also announced today the revised format for County cricket from 2014 onward. It is actually a very good revision; sanity prevailed and the ECB scrapped the notion of a 14-match schedule and they have also got rid of the T20 block and changed the CB40 to the CB50 and added quarter-finals.
The most important decision was about the LV=CC and the ECB not only kept the current form intact, but they also set the schedule so that the first 14 matches start on Sunday. The ECB press release did not say why only the first 14 rounds (though my guess is that it’s because the T20 competition will be over after that) or on what day they will start in September instead. It’s a nice arrangement though. There will still be weekend cricket and there will be a regular schedule to go with it.
The CB40 is not only to become the CB50, it will also have rules exactly matching those of international cricket. Although I do prefer the forty over version as a fan, from the standpoint of the well-being of English cricket I think this is an overall good thing. Also good is that there will be a quarter-final round this year which has very much been lacking in the past. There will be eight group matches per side, so my guess is that Scotland and Holland will continue playing and there will be four groups of five.
The T20 competition is possibly the oddest one. Getting rid of the T20 block was a great idea for the spectators wanting to attend and it does not break up the LV=CC scheduling anymore which is a distinct improvment. It will be 14 matches though, which is too many (I thought the ten of this year worked very well) and I don’t know how that will work as far as the groups go. I suspect it will mean an unbalanced schedule of the type that was proposed for the LV=CC, but that would be flawed for the same reasons.
I’m quite happy with the revisions overall and I think they will make for an improved fixture list from 2014 onwards.