Friday, 27 April 2012

FRIDAY SPECIAL: The future of the 4-Day game

The LV=County Championship is the first-class domestic competition in England and Wales. There are 18 teams split into 2 divisions; Division 1 and Division 2. The competition consists of 4 day’s a game and 16 in a season (8 home and 8 away). The current champions are Lancashire.

On the 10th of December 1889 at the Home of Cricket, the County Championship was discussed at a meeting and would be introduced in the 1990 season. Back then the competition had 8 teams, but it went from strength to strength until the current 2012 season where there are 18 teams battling it out for the ultimate prize.

However, will we see the LV=CC for much longer? I for one are all for the competition and hopefully its future expansion but there is a few issue’s which could stand in its way:

The first of these is the unstable finance structure of some counties. With little money available to work with due to the recession and the government cuts. Some of the counties cannot afford to have to constantly pay people to keep the game running smoothly over 4 days and 8 times a season, they just simply don’t have the money.

The new innovative shots make T20 cricket more popular.

Secondly, is the poor attendance of the 4 day county game. All bigger grounds, for example Lord’s is never full when there is a county game on. Not only does this affect the atmosphere it also costs the club in maintenance with no return in profit. One day games attract more as you are guaranteed a result and it is also at a much higher tempo.

Finally is the rise of the T-20 game. SIX! FOUR! T-20 cricket has caught the eye of the public and the cricketing scene as top star players now come to England to play in the T-20 Competition. Sky has taken the format of the game to new heights but the money involved is what makes it so good, but also the way in which it is aimed at both the younger and older generation.

Despite speculation over its future, the ECB have decided to keep the competition running until at least 2013. However, nobody knows about its future after that.

By Ross Hill

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