Thursday, May 30, 2024

Reducing domestic cricket matches will not help, says Jon Filby

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Counties play a minimum of 14 Championship matches, 14 T20 Blast fixtures and eight in the One-Day Cup, equating to at least 78 days of cricket in the season.

This season there are 55 instances of counties playing on back-to-back days in the Blast – a particular pinch point of the schedule in June and July – up from 34 last year.

“We do have to get that schedule right,” Filby said. “It’s crazy that we have just come out of a really dank and nasty spell of weather, and yet we’re a quarter of the way through the County Championship already. We should just be starting the Championship now.

“We have a ground here that is a world-class facility and, in order to maintain it, we need to attract crowds to come to matches as much as we can. That’s what we that’s why we need fixtures.”

The PCA is scheduled to present the players’ views on how the schedule could be cut to the ECB, but any alteration to the structure of domestic competitions must be approved by counties.

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr believes the current schedule is preventing players from performing at their best.

“The demands on players have gone through the roof and what their current schedule doesn’t allow is the opportunities to recover, to reflect and prepare properly,” said Kerr.

“We’re trying to encourage guys to be the best version of themselves and put in performances that lead to international recognition. The way the schedule is at the minute, it doesn’t allow for people being at their best for six months.”

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