Newell: Morgan proposals not in best interests of the game

Nottinghamshire’s Mick Newell believes proposals to alter the structure of the County Championship are being driven by commercial considerations.

The David Morgan review into the future structure of domestic cricket has recommended that teams play 14 four-day games in future seasons instead of the current 16.

But Notts director of cricket Newell believes the proposed changes – designed to incorporate more Twenty20 Cup matches – are not in the best interests of the game.

He said: “If it were up to me, and I had a vote, then I would be keeping the structure we have in place for the first part of this season – because it’s the best one.

“If it is changed then it is not a cricket decision but about trying to generate more income. There’s a desire to play more Twenty20 cricket and if that’s the case we have to give up something somewhere.

“I like T20 the way it is. It is all done within three weeks at a time of the year when the weather is generally best and the evenings are light.

“I think that is when it should be played, but there is talk it is going to be from May right through to August.”

Despite being a fan of the current set-up, Newell suggests any reduction to 14 Championship games should be followed by an eight-ten split in terms of counties making up Division One and Division Two.

And he is adamant that limited-overs matches – be they 40 or 50-over affairs – must take place on a Sunday, as they were during his playing days.

Newell added: “I don’t think it is a fair way of doing things if you are playing some teams more than others. In the two-division structure it makes sense to have fewer teams in the top division.

“That’s going to help the quality at the top level and would see every team desperately fighting to get themselves into that elite eight.

“I also think we should have one-day limited-overs games on a Sunday. It is a good day to get people in.

“I don’t think Saturday is the best day for watching cricket. It is not always the best for families and the supporters are not always happy about it.

“It is not desperately important to me which way go in terms of 50-over or 40-over cricket. But cricket on a Sunday is a lot more attractive.”

About Robin Hutchison

Robin Hutchison is a Midlands-based sports Journalist and PR consultant. He is a regular contributor to The Cricketer magazine and currently pens their monthly betting column. He also contributes articles to a number of national newspapers including The Sun, Daily Star, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express and is the author of The Tinman: The Ted McMinn Story.
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