OPINION: A “KSL Replacement” Domestic T20 Is DoA Without Full Professionalism

In her interview with TMS on Saturday at Worcester, the ECB’s Director of Women’s Cricket Clare Connor addressed concerns about the future of domestic T20 cricket when the Kia Super League ends and is replaced by The 100, pledging to deliver a new “equally worthwhile” T20 tournament in its place.

She also made a personal commitment to working towards full professionalism, acknowledging that this had to be more than the few-thousand pounds players outside the fully contracted England elite currently make from the game.

The long-term intent is the right one – we need an elite T20 competition which involves the England contracted players. To quote England captain Heather Knight:

“Obviously Twenty20 international cricket is huge in the women’s game, so we need to make sure that from 2020 the structure below the new competition is right.”

But unfortunately there is a problem…

The KSL ends in 2019, and Connor doesn’t see full professionalism until at least 2024; but without full professionalism you can’t have a T20 competition which involves the England players!

Why? Well, oddly, it isn’t the England players who are the problem, but the amateurs who (without full professionalism) will make up the majority of the squads in The 100.

You see, the amateurs are… well… amateur – they have other jobs! And whilst it might be feasible to take 6 weeks of unpaid leave to play in The 100, for which (during those 6 weeks at least) they will be well-remunerated, taking another 4 weeks to play in the new T20 as well just isn’t going to fly with most employers.

This means the new T20 is initially going to have to be played at weekends… and not during The 100 in July/ August, obviously… and not during the international window in June/ July, or the England players would not get any domestic T20… and not during the County Championship window, which is currently May/ early June.

So when are they going to play it?

January?

It’s almost like no one thought about the implications of this before they irrevocably committed themselves to the policy! (Remind you of anything?)

Of course, there is an easy way to solve this problem: make The 100 a T20 tournament for the women. You can still have the same teams; you can still call it “The 100” – just make 120 balls rather than 100 – then you don’t have to play an additional T20 tourny!

But something tells me that would be far too much like having your cake and eating it… and no one wants that!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “OPINION: A “KSL Replacement” Domestic T20 Is DoA Without Full Professionalism

  1. Good points Syd.
    It is going to be tricky to fit in, and as Heather Knight confirmed the structure below the main tournaments will need investment of time and wherever possible, money! Last weekend we had a sprinkling of England players involved with their counties in some good, close T20 games.
    I wonder what the percentage of players involved were in that “amateur “ bracket, who may have travelled under their own steam to the games, may have paid their own accommodation near to the venues, or had to take time off from any previously arranged scheduled employment.
    I wonder how many of the 18-24 year olds involved over the weekend see the year 2024 as quite a long way off! The pot of some gold is at the end of a distant rainbow?

    Like

  2. When you see how the Women’s game is following the same path as the men’s, with more competitive international teams, this all seems doubly odd. Those teams, like South Africa as an excellent recent example, are catching up by intensively working on the formats they will compete in. Yet England is going to disrupt that focus for their players, it seems to me. The support your team has got at home recently makes it clear it’s not the format that’s the issue, it’s the marketing and the context.

    Like

  3. I am more confused now after Connor’s comments, I’d assumed that “The 100” was it for domestic non-County T20 (or T20-like). I think they will struggle to find a window for another comp. It’s a shame to bin KSL just when it was starting to get a good following.

    Although it might seem strange, your jokey suggestion of “January” did bring up a thought with me, of whether they might consider playing some sort of “away” tournament in the UAE or something during winter. It would be difficult to get it to work, and obviously teams would be rendered generic and support pretty much not there, but maybe it’s not the worst idea ever, if the aim was just to get more elite level matches in.

    Like

Comments are closed.