Strauss voices concerns over County Cricket system
Andrew Strauss has joined the increasing number of critics calling for a restructuring of the County Cricket system.
The England captain makes his return to the game for Middlesex’s division two clash with Worcestershire on Friday after missing England’s tour of Bangladesh.
He has added his voice to that of the Professional Cricketers’ Association who are concerned about the threat of overkill, particularly in the T20 format.
Strauss stated his concern that a lack of preparation time was damaging the county game’s ability to prepare players for the international arena.
“I think there are two things – reducing the overall volume of cricket would be useful, as long as those days off are used wisely, and secondly, I think it could be better structured into blocks of four-day and one-day cricket, which would allow you to prepare for each format better,” said the 33-year-old.
Strauss’ criticism comes hot on the heals of the PCA decision to pressurise the ECB into making a quick decision on the structure of the 2011 domestic season. This season sees the introduction of a new three competition county calendar which includes a 40 over competition and an expanded 151 game T20 tournament.
And despite a scramble for high profile T20 signatures, there is concern among counties that overkill will lead to a decrease in the marketability of the shortest format.
The ECB are notoriously reluctant to reduce the days played by counties throughout the season and David Collier, their Chief Executive, has ruled out any decision until the end of the season.
The counties desire for a quick resolution has been exaggerated by the scheduling of the lucrative T20 Champions League at the tail end of the English season.
A reduction in first-class cricket has long been a cause championed by Strauss’ predecessors, most notably Michael Atherton. But despite their complaints, this season’s campaign will be the earliest ever start to a county season to go alongside 2009’s latest ever finish.