Andrew Strauss says ‘status quo’ no option as he unveils English cricket reform plan | Cricket News

LONDON: Andrew Strauss has insisted ‘business as usual is not an option’ as he appealed to county leaders to back his plan to reform English cricket, which includes cutting the number of league matches first class.
Former England captain Strauss has spent the past six months overseeing a high performance review for the England and Wales Cricket Boardlaunched following the humiliating defeat of 2021/22 men’s Test team Ashes in Australia.
His panel made 17 recommendations, 15 of which already have the required support.
But two of the most significant changes required the support of at least 12 of the 18 first-class counties.
Strauss is adamant: a reduction from 14 league matches per team to 10 is necessary.
His panel also calls for the adoption of a six-team first division seated above two secondary conferences, which would play for annual promotion, to replace the current two-division model.
Many county supporters have wondered how clubs are supposed to remain viable with a reduction in league fixtures.
Concerns are particularly acute at non-Test match venues without one of the eight sides specially created for the ECB100 fledgling balls per side Hundred contest.
Strauss’ plan, however, is for league matches to be played throughout the season, rather than at the start and end of a campaign as is currently happening.
Whether that would mean the return of first-class cricket in the now Hundred-only August window is uncertain.
But the ex-opening batsman said an overall reduction in the number of playing days would help achieve England’s review goal of becoming the world’s best multi-format side. five years here.
Since the review was introduced, England have won six of seven Tests under new leadership of the captaincy duo Ben Stokes and red ball coach Brendon McCullum.
Nonetheless, Strauss said Thursday: “The status quo is not an option.
“Everyone in the game is telling us that. We’ve listened, now we need to act.”
The 45-year-old added: “Higher and more intense red ball competition should be good for the (county) members, for the players, for the pitch staff, for the coaches.
“We have to understand that it’s not all about volume.”
A vote on the changes could take place by the end of November, but they could be implemented at the earliest during the 2024 season.

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