Hampshire Cricket History

What the Players Think
September 15, 2016, 9:06 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s Mark Wallace, Chairman of the PCA, on the new T20 proposals

“If you play good cricket it doesn’t matter who you’re playing for, I think people want to come and watch the best players playing their best cricket … People come along to watch high-quality sport, as cricketers we’re basically in the entertainment industry and it’s about us putting on the best show possible”.

I find that helpful. I’ve not much enjoyed falling out of love with cricket over the past couple of seasons and it’s particularly difficult to work out exactly how I feel about what I’ve thought of as my county for over 50 years – especially as one of the leading lights in all these changes. In terms of what I wish to watch, give me Peter Sainsbury or Liam Dawson playing for Hampshire over Kevin Pietersen playing for Solihull Rovers United any day.

But when I learn that the players’ representative suggests I (we) don’t care which team I’m watching as long as it includes the best players, it becomes much simpler. It’s just a “show” apparently. I thought it was more than that of course, but if that’s how the Players feel, why would I invest emotionally in who they are and who they are playing for?

I know something about the”entertainment industry” of course, so at least with the few Championship games that are left, I can look forward to them “putting on the best show possible”, which I assume means there will be no more slow over rates, stoppages for bad light, or international players told to miss games (etc).



19 Comments so far
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Many other players have tweeted that it’s the right decision including one player who has spent a lot of the last few years injured. A shame as it is a county that has supported him through his injuries and perservered with him. Would a city based team or franchise show the same loyalty?

Counties have mindlessly voted for more money and will supposedly get £1.5m a year not to play cricket. How long before that funding is withdrawn as the ECB look to cut costs. I give it ten years at most.

Comment by Ian

I know this is probably going to be an unpopular view but………

With regards to Woody (naming him as we all know who you mean) I don’t think that the new tournament would mean he didn’t still try to repay Hampshire for their support. The injuries that he has had would have precluded him from being involved anyway. But, he is still a young man & like Tymal Mills sadly his body cannot cope with the longer formats of the game. The new tournament would give him something to aim for when playing T20 for Hampshire & the chance to showcase his undeniable skills with the white ball. Do we really want to begrudge him of that.

I know the worry is that city based teams will lead to the demise of “proper cricket”. I am a supporter of all forms. If we want our county to survive then sadly money is a part of that. Using the ground for concerts (to generate income) has led to damage to the outfield in the past…….that shouldn’t happen if it is used for cricket (whatever form that may take).

Comment by joster69

We need more money and I am not against T20 unlike some here. I do really enjoy it and spend time and money to travel to away games in this competition.

I just think the effort of the ECB should be put into improving the Blast and including all 18 counties so that they can make more money for themselves and reduce the handouts that are required at present. That way we all benefit and it continues to grow the game for the future rather than a short term cash grab.

Comment by Ian

I have NEVER argued against T20 even though I don’t much enjoy watching it – indeed it might be that I’m the only person on here who has supported it ‘officially’, which I did when I was an elected Committee Member almost 20 years ago. I used to play it in the 1980s (before the ECB invented it) and I admire the skills greatly – some are extraordinary. I also have fond memories of the great days of the knock-out Cups. I object to two things: (1) that broadening the T20 is used as an excuse to dismantle the Championship when there is no need, as the season is longer than ever and players play less than ever, and (2) Because I am utterly opposed to the need to change from an 18-club tournament of any kind and particularly perhaps to abandon the County identity. But if that’s what ‘they’ do – with the apparent collusion of the players – I will gradually disappear, because clearly cricket doesn’t need supporters like me (nor indeed my dosh).

Comment by pompeypop

The counties need money. Simple answer – the ECB should distribute a majority of the money that they make from using county players and county grounds to play international cricket back to the counties.

Problem solved.

Comment by James

That wouldn’t solve the problem James. I really think that clubs should be helped to sustain themselves rather than rely on handouts which has led to the situation we are in today where counties are forced to vote for short term survival..

Comment by Ian

Hardly a handout Ian when the money has been made by our players at our grounds.

Comment by James

James, Ian – and that’s just what Hampshire have been trying to do: become self-sustaining with a facility that is used year round, not just for 40 or 50 days per year. We all know that that hasn’t been easy – bankrupt builders, ECB bias towards Wales, judicial review, banking crisis, and, just recently, a burst pipe! But we now, hopefully, have a business that will draw custom year round and support the cricket team we all love.
We should be thankful that Rod has stuck with it all these years – many others would have thrown their hands up and walked away after even half of these set backs.
I realise that not everyone likes all the decisions, but, as a Hampshire member since 1970, I enjoy all forms – in the order Championship first, then T20 then 50 over – and have been at every Championship game this season, home and away.
As a result of attending matches at many counties, I get promotional e-mails from so many of them, very regularly, and do agree that the one thing that is missing from all of them is any real, concerted ffort to promote the Championship.

Comment by Ageas

It is a handout though for those counties who do not have a test ground or even test players.

Comment by Ian

Ageas lots are doing the same as well from my travels around the country watching Hampshire. Have heard Surrey referred to as a conference centre that also has a cricket team and I do not mind it that is where we are headed. I just cannot get my head around paying counties to not play cricket. I accept change needs to occur but the feelings of loyal county supporters are being disregarded and taken for granted.

Comment by Ian

I take your point Ian (about it being a handout for those counties who do not have a Test ground or even Test players) but would argue that these counties have contributed by providing opposition thus allowing Test players to develop and in a good few cases (such as Leicestershire) they developed Test players (only to have them nicked by Notts!).

Comment by James

Perhaps he should have a word with Tommo?

Comment by Jeremy

The PCA was at the meeting, but without a vote. It is estimated that only 30% of those playing County cricket would be likely to win a deal with the new teams. I wonder if the other 70% of those Mark Wallace represents agree with him.

Comment by Bob Elliott

I’m a Hampshire supporter and have been for 50 years or so. I won’t go and watch a team made up of a few internationals and filled with players from 2 or 3 counties. I watch Hampshire play cricket and that’s it. I’ll continue to watch Hampshire play County Cricket until the ECB finally put an end to it. Hopefully (although I’m not sure it will be), not in my lifetime. Also as a Life member, I signed up to watch County Cricket. If I can no longer do that I wonder if I can sell back my Life Membership that cost me £2,000 and so far had just 10 seasons from it.

Comment by Tigger

I don’t see this as the demise of the county game. It seems to be just a sideshow – think of North v South, Players v Gentlemen, WG Grace’s XI v 22 men of Sussex.

What effect has the Big Bash had on the Sheffield Shield?

Unfortunately it will mean a lot of attention is focused on an August Jamboree, but we don’t have to watch it.

Comment by Dave Pople

I see what you are saying and to begin with there might not be much difference. However I feel this is the beginning of the end for county cricket. Paying counties to not play just seems unrealistic and something that will not last that long. Why pay a county money when you can keep that yourself.

You are also correct in that we don’t have to watch it but how on earth is this benefiting cricket by turning off loyal and committed supporters?

Comment by Ian

More T20 county games on out-grounds? A good thing if so; watching those is a bit like watching the JPL that was.

For an 8 city competition, the Ageas’ problem, as it has been with Test cricket, is its relative proximity to the Oval…is there enough interest to justify it?

Comment by StephenFH

But nobody has ever watched the Sheffield Shield anyway. It’s not a spectator sport it’s a competition for players to move into Test cricket. As such, it’s a key part of the cultural differences which the ECB ignores when it regularly copies other countries

Comment by pompeypop

The Shield like the CC has been pushed to the edge of its season and is no longer the toughest FC comp in the world as it was in the 90s.

Comment by Ian

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