S.N. Don's blog

One Man and his Dog

Last time, I gave my opinion on the proposed changes to the T20 Blast. As a bit of an addendum, I took in the Finals day at Chelmsford and thoroughly enjoyed the cricket on offer. Having the best English women teaming up with some of the best players from around the globe helped ensure that the first iteration was a success. I see no reason why that shouldn’t be the case with the male format.

I did mention that I have ideas to improve the beleaguered County Championship. I had the misfortune last year to take in a day’s play between Essex and Surrey at Chelmsford. What play there was consisted of the Surrey batsmen making no effort to hit the ball of the square. And it was only day two. This was not the sort of cricket that gets bums on seats. Much has been said recently about the need to get people to watch test cricket. Australia aside, we rarely sell out so either the interest isn’t there or the pricing is wrong.

But I digress. There is nothing worse than seeing a dull, tedious draw when neither side shows any interest in winning. I would go so far to suggest that there is a fear of losing. This negativity does nothing to get people into the grounds and it promotes mediocrity. That’s why my first proposal would be to remove points for a draw. Offering five points for a draw is ridiculous. Get rid of them. I will concede that there will be occasions where this could be contentious. Last week, Middlesex were thwarted by the weather in their bid to secure a win over Warwickshire. There are, no doubt, examples where a valiant run chase just falls short or there is a dramatic rear-guard action to stave off defeat. At least take a look at it.

The bonus point scoring is a farce and probably promotes wickets to encourage the batsmen. Why is there only one point on offer for the first five wickets to fall in the first innings yet two available for the last five? The best batsmen go in first, night watchmen excepted, but let’s not reward the taking of their wickets. Four bowling points please as below:

1 to 2 wickets taken - 1 point
3 to 4 wickets taken - 2 points
5 to 7 wickets taken - 3 points
8 to 10 wickets taken - 4 points

As for batting points, leave them as they are but remove the fifth bonus point for scores in excess of 400.

Part two will follow next month.

S.N. Don

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