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HomeNews UKMichael Vaughan Suggests Replacing 18 First-Class Counties With 10 Franchise Teams

Michael Vaughan Suggests Replacing 18 First-Class Counties With 10 Franchise Teams

Michael Vaughan has called for a radical change to the domestic league in England, proposing that the 18 first-class counties be replaced by 10 franchise teams.

In an exclusive interview with Melinda Farrell for Latest edition of Wisden Cricket MonthlyVaughan gave his thoughts on the future of the domestic tournament in England, as well as expressing support for the leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum ahead of the Test series in India.

“I want to make it clear that I love the county supporters,” Vaughan said. “Absolutely admire them. I spent 20 years playing county cricket and I loved every one of them, but we have to move with the times. I know I’m going to get a beating from some members in the district, but why can’t you have ten featured franchise groups? Why can’t the women’s teams take over the remaining districts and other fields and take them through?

“Do I like the old 18-county system [to remain]? Of course. But sustainability and finances tell me that you can’t sustain 18 years old. You can take care of 10 people in a high-performance model.”

After the 2024 domestic season schedule in England was announced last November, the PCA called on the ECB to review the schedule to look after the welfare of the players. The Association has labeled the calendar that sees the County Championship starting on April 5 as “relentless” and “in need of reform”.

The current version of the calendar includes a two-month break from first-class matches starting at the end of June, to allow for T20 Blast and The Hundred. Additionally, the women’s domestic calendar will begin a transition this year, in which the eight regional sides will be reassigned to the districts.

Vaughan also criticized the state of the red-ball game globally and called on the ICC to allocate funds worldwide to promote Test cricket. He said: “If we really had people at the top who wanted to save Test cricket, they could put money in around the world and a number of organizations across countries to ensure the reserve programs of They are in good shape.” “I really think they have allowed many countries to go about their business without the money, without the structure, without the expertise to help them.”

One aspect of the game that makes Vaughan optimistic about the future of Test cricket is the impact of England’s approach to the longest format under Stokes and McCullum.

“I like the way England play,” said Vaughan. “Instead of the rest of the world saying, ‘Oh shut up England, stop bragging, you’re not going to change the planet’… well, they’re actually doing something that could save Test cricket and That’s why I admire Ben and Baz so much.

“I know you need different styles, but if everyone accepts the logic of going out to win and not being so concerned about draws, Test cricket will be in a better place. It’s been frustrating for many years that in this great format we’ve done nothing but say, ‘Oh, we’ll have a Test Championship, that will solve all the problems’. No, it’s not like that.”

Vaughan is speaking to Melinda Farrell for the latest issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly. Buy a copy This.


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