NEWS: County Players And Coaches Feel Proposed Restructure Is “Backward Step”

The ECB’s planned overhaul of women’s county cricket, whereby from 2020 only a top tier of 8 or 10 counties will participate in the County Championship, is sparking concerns among players and coaches that it will stymie the development of the sport.

The proposals would mean the end of the careers of approximately 250 senior county players, who the ECB hope will move into the club structure from 2020.

However, the weakness of the underlying club structure in some regions of the country effectively means that some of these players may be lost to cricket for good.

One player from a Division 3 county said:

“I understand the intent, but can’t help that feel a lot of women like myself will suffer.”

“Some of us are perhaps ahead of the varying standard of women’s club cricket, and were finding our feet in Division 3 and 2. To make these feeders and have a select few ‘elite’ sides, where the net will be cast wider and subsequently, numbers harder to compete with, I fear my hopes of competing at a standard suitable for myself will dwindle.”

“I feel this is a backwards step.”

Another, responding to the proposals on Twitter, labelled the move a “massive shame”: “Been playing county senior cricket for 10 years and to see it end will be pretty rubbish”.

CRICKETher understands that the proposals were presented to those working in the current women’s set-up at four consultation meetings held around the country in 2018.

However, while these meetings presented an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals, some working in county cricket feel their views have not been taken into account.

One county coach told CRICKETher:

“I think the narrowing of a growing market could do a lot more harm than good. It would strangle the rapid organic growth and increase in quality that we were witnessing at the coal face.”

“There is some wonderful cricket going on in Division 2 and 3. That is a result of hard work and natural growth and evolution of the women’s game that is going to be squashed.”

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9 thoughts on “NEWS: County Players And Coaches Feel Proposed Restructure Is “Backward Step”

  1. The situation in club cricket is the major flaw in the proposals. The ECB seem to be unaware of the true state and that, in many counties, there is nowhere for these players to go. So far as I am aware my own county has only two clubs playing competitive league cricket

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally agree with the players comments. “others to play club cricket “ is such a kick in the teeth for a wide range of players. As mentioned the quality, or even existence, of women’s club cricket in some parts of the country is less than weak.
    To expect a young, talented player or an experienced player who may have just have re- invented herself to plough through rather non competitive or poor quality club games is questionable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. At its height women’s cricket brought together players from all levels together on a Sunday in the 1s & 2s. I would be interested to know the starts from 2012 to 2018 on the demise of league teams and clubs in general.

    The Club, CAG, Academy and International pathway has been broken for sometime. The CAG structure is doing its best with little funding, resources and competition from other female team sports.

    How can you choose an academy when the Club structure maybe weak or compared to another area where Club cricket thrives?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. BUCS Hockey are just about to restructure and create a national league for their sport. While University cricket has also been sidelined as a genuine pathway.

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  5. Club cricket isn’t consistently competitive enough to be replacement for div 2/3 cricket. Some teams in our division are very strong but other teams have players who will flinch out the way of powerfully hit shots. Also at times I’ve felt that I have to throttle back my pace when I am bowling as I am worried that I will injure someone. I’m reasonably quick but I’m no Tahuhu. And this is the highest level of club cricket in our area.

    It’s not these players fault, they have to play somewhere, but until grassroots is strengthened and clubs have the player pool to have 2 teams then this is the problem you will get.

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  6. It seems these proposals by the ECB are poorly thought out, and like the scrapping of the KSL to be replaced by The Hundred, are highly questionable and leave plenty of room for disaster. They seem to have been made by faceless individuals with little understanding of the state of the club and county game. I think the game as a whole would have been better off by the ECB just injecting extra funding and better facilities into the existing set-ups. The fact that that didn’t happen suggests these plans are actually just badly disguised cost-saving exercises.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Let’s be honest

    1. Is anyone aware of a cricket Club where the women & girls cricket gets first use of facilities? or where direct investment is made for girls rather than grants requiring clubs to cover all bases?

    2. The existing centre of excellence hasn’t exactly been successful in developing the next gen of women’s players!

    3. CAG cricket is ‘funded’ to a limited level by the counties, why will the new minor counties do anymore than they already do?

    4. There is already a number of secondary schools programmes its getting the girls to play more cricket at clubs and not just see this as an extra PE lesson

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: NEWS: Counties – “We Will Continue Playing County Cricket From 2020 Despite ECB Plans” | CRICKETher

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