PCA PRESS RELEASE
PCA survey to help shape the future of domestic cricket in England and Wales.
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A survey conducted by the Professional Cricketers’ Association has reaffirmed the belief that players view red-ball cricket as the pinnacle of the sport.
With 89% of PCA playing members surveyed believing Test Match cricket is the most important format of the world game, those thoughts are supported in domestic male cricket too.
There is a forthright view that a competitive County Championship structure should remain through preserving promotion and relegation which, in their opinion, is crucial to maintaining a high intensity competition.
Players firmly believe there should be no four-day cricket played during the new competition from 2020, therefore not compromising the competition which the players view as the most important.
The survey, carried out to gain members thoughts on how male county cricket will be played from 2020, will feed into the ECB’s working group on the structure of the game.
PCA Director of Development and Welfare Ian Thomas is joined by former PCA Chairman and current Personal Development Manager Mark Wallace on the advisory group in representing current player views.
The structure of the County Championship is one key area which is under review and feedback from players suggests 79% would like to keep promotion and relegation with members agreeing the current system maintains an intense standard of competition for both players and spectators.
With nine of England’s latest Test Match team plying their trade in Division One of the Championship, it is no surprise 93% of members believe playing in the top division enhances their chances of progression to the international arena.
With the new competition to be played during July and August, the format of cricket to be played alongside this is under review and 93% of players would ideally like to see white-ball cricket played in designated blocks.
However, the PCA understands there will have to be some compromise to playing cricket in rigid blocks for the County Championship and T20 Blast.
The volume of T20 Blast games to be played from 2020 is also yet to be decided and 72% of players would like there to be either 16 or 14 group games per season, maintaining consistency with the current model.
“2020 it is an exciting time for cricket in this country with the new competition bringing huge opportunities to our playing membership and with that, it is imperative we get the domestic structure right.”
DARYL MITCHELL, PCA CHAIRMAN
While 50-over cricket remains the format played internationally, there is a strong feeling that domestic cricket should mirror the international level with only 10% of players wanting to move away from the current 50-over competition.
PCA Chairman, Daryl Mitchell, said:
“It was great to see a large number of PCA playing members respond to this survey and this is a vital piece of research to understand members’ views to further influence the PCA’s stance on the domestic structure.
“I am pleased to see the results support views which we are always informally gathering through conversations around the county circuit.
“Test cricket is still seen as the pinnacle by players and domestic red ball cricket is clearly still held in the highest regard by current players and this is something, as players, we need to preserve.
“With the desire to create blocks for different formats over recent years, it has meant that the Championship has been slightly marginalised with a huge proportion of games being played in April and September.
“Players feel there is a need for more four-day cricket to be played in the middle of the summer for members and supporters to watch as well as to enable players to play in better conditions. This will therefore mean switching between formats is inevitable.”
Director of Development and Welfare, Thomas, said:
“With a lot of proposed changes to the domestic game from the 2020 season, it has been essential for the players’ opinions to be consulted and represented.
“The survey which was completed by 240 current players has helped players’ feedback their opinions and allowed the domestic working group to listen and consider one of the key stakeholders in the game.”