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Cricket needs to broaden its regional base | Cricket

Cricket needs to broaden its regional base |  Cricket


Alan Higham is lobbying on behalf of the County Cricket Members Group and would have us believe that franchise sales would be unnecessary if only the top-tier cricket counties allocated funds as their members wished (Letters, May 13). How I wish this were true.

The Hundred may not be perfect, but it has opened up new avenues of play and viewing for young people and their families. But there is still a big step to be taken. Those of us in Cornwall, Norfolk and Buckinghamshire do not have access to first-class cricket locally in any format, and the pathways for our young people are complex and often unaffordable.

The large counties have preferred to focus on the needs of their existing customers, assuming that the only valuable pathways for young people are those they control through club structures. So a young person in St Just doesn't get the chance to watch good players, nor does he or she have a practical route into the game if he or she shows promise, as someone from London does. Very few players from the sticks have played for England.

Cricket needs to broaden its base, initially to a regional structure, as in every other major footballing nation, rather than focusing on the needs of a small group of members in the current anachronistic provincial structure established in the 1890s. If franchising is the best way to do this, then so be it.
Jonathan Harris
Chairman of the Cornwall Schools Cricket Association 1994-2002




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