Players Give Backing To Winning Formula — 08/12/2005
In a vote at yesterday’s end of year Professional Cricketers' Association Executive meeting held at Edgbaston, the Executive, made up of county representatives and members of the PCA Cricket Advisory Group, gave unanimous backing to Divisional First-class Cricket and the value it brings to the game. Other issues discussed included discipline on the field and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Anti-Racism Campaign.
Two Division Competition
PCA chairman, Martyn Ball, commented: "Two divisional cricket has created an intensely competitive environment which is constantly closing the gap in standards between first-class cricket and the Test arena. Players consider it aspirational and believe it to be a major improvement on the one division which existed before.
“While there were concerns regarding the value of 40 over cricket, it was noted that the players would welcome an increase in Twenty20 and 50 over cricket to reflect the playing infrastructure at international level.
“There are no longer 'dead' matches in county cricket and alongside the introduction of central contracts to England players, these changes have led to a competitive and successful England team."
At the meeting the PCA Executive also recognised that standards of on field behavior have also improved despite increased competition. Just two players incurred penalty points in 2005 (2004: five). Player/umpire relationships are strong and all players recognise and respect the MCC Spirit of Cricket code.
PCA president, Mike Gatting, said: "The players understand their responsibility as role models to every level throughout the game and their duty to play the game in the correct spirit. The recent figures indicate they are playing their part in this process."
Despite no reported incidents within the first-class game, the PCA will also be working closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board to develop greater prominence and awareness to its Anti-Racism Campaign.
PCA group chief executive, Richard Bevan, said: “It is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the game to ensure that worrying trends in racism in this country do not creep into our game and the PCA will be a playing a full and active role in this.”