Do we really need a new T20 competition?

t20 blast
Picture taken from Wikipedia

 
You all must have heard the news that the ECB want to add to a congested county schedule and add a IPL-style competition of their own.

 

It would consist of:

  • 8 city-based teams competing over a six-week period
  • Each team would be allocated a certain amount of revenue to spend on players and coaches
  • A total squad of 15, including a maximum of 3 overseas players

Now let’s get down to the real issue. Do we need another T20 competition? The current NatWest T20 Blast seems to be progressing well despite a few signature players on show. T20 specialists like Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle contested in the tournament for a limited amount of games before going off to the more lucrative and better Indian Premier League.

First off, the schedule for the county circuit is extremely jam-packed and adding another competition would be detrimental. It is pointless having two T20 competitions, when the other one is doing okay why just add another one just for the sake of it. It’s either got to do with money or they don’t know what they’re doing.

If your own superstars can’t participate in the competition, then what is the point? It makes the competition look less attractive and less chance overseas players will want to come play.  It would be ideal for everyone in my opinion if they tuned the T20 Blast into something similar of the IPL and Big Bash. One main similarity these two competitions had been that their own country’s superstars were competing in the competition.

Moving on to the time of year this competition is going to take place. The current NatWest T20 Blast is in the summer so I presume this would either take place after it near the end of the year. One with our so-called British weather and average rainfall that time of year, we’d be scheduled to lose between 12-15 games. It will also depend if England are playing at home that time of year as they would have priority of the ground they would be playing at.

For this competition to be a success the international schedule must play a part for attracting players and for players not occupied in other competitions. For T20 specialists like Gayle, McCullum, Kevin Pietersen, Shahid Afridi and others their schedules are packed with competitions and if they are going to appear the competition it’s going to be something different. If you break down the schedule for T20 competitions, you get:

  • Early February to March: Pakistan Super League (PSL)
  • April/May: Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • Late June/July/August: Caribbean Premier League
  • July/September: NatWest T20 Blast
  • December/January: Big Bash

Where are, you going to fit the competition in? Even this year’s Big Bash is going to be a squeeze. It will be played around the Ashes, ODI series v England and a tri-series of International T20’s. Even the Big Bash might struggle this year? The schedule isn’t going to get easier with years to come.

The questions lead to what are you going offer these T20 mercenaries that the other competition doesn’t? More money? When most of the county clubs are cash-strapped or in debt, how are they going to pay for marquee players? You must have seen Ben Stokes price in the IPL auction and Mills, I strongly doubt even with cash injection from the ECB them numbers are going to be reached.

This summer it is the Champions Trophy, followed by the T20 World Cup next year. The cricket World Cup is in 2019 and the Women’s World T20 happening in the summer of 2020.

Instead of enumerating fear into the public or whoever that if this competition doesn’t take place it would be the death of cricket. Utter nonsense. Rather than focusing on the money side of the sport, tuning and increasing the quality of the NatWest T20 would be more effective and advised.

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