Essex County Cricket Club have voiced their displeasure on the decision of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to introduce a new Twenty20 competition that might kick-off from 2020.
The tournament which is expected to be on the lines similar to Indian Premier League and Big Bash League will have a team each from eight cities and for the first time in 130 years, the 18 first-class counties are set to be excluded.
The counties have been asked to allow a change in ECB constitution that says any competition introduced by the board must be open to all. In return each county would receive a financial inducement of 1.3 million pounds ($1.63 million) annually for five years from the England board.
Essex County Cricket Club Chairman John Faragher said in a statement released by the club that the board members are concerned that the new T20 competition will affect not just their income but also the growth of first-class games in the country.
“We do not support the changes to the Articles of Association and consequently the proposed new T20 competition. It is essential that the County Championship, domestic 50-over and T20 competitions are encouraged to grow, and they must be protected.
“We recognise and support the Cricket Unleashed Strategy and indeed Essex County Cricket Club has an enviable record in producing England players and Captains. We are focused on expanding cricket in Essex, East Anglia and Metropolitan London, ensuring there are opportunities for all age and ability groups, male and female to be actively involved in the game.
“We believe that as a result of the proposed changes, these opportunities will be reduced, that our income overall will suffer and the First Class game will be diminished, in contradiction to the ECB’s objective which is to grow the game in this country - an objective that is unlikely to be advanced by a competition which would exclude large areas of the country from any involvement in it.”
© Cricket World 2017