County cricket undergoes restructure for 2017 season

County cricket undergoes restructure for 2017 season

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For the 2017 season the structure of County cricket in England will be quite different. To start with there will be fewer teams competing in the top flight; there is only one promotion spot up for grabs at the end of the 2016 season.

Each team in the County Championship will now paly 14 games as opposed to the current 16 which alleviates a certain element of pressure.

There will also be a more definitive split between the two shorter formats – the Royal London One Day Cup will be played in the first half of the season in April and May with a final in July and the Natwest T20 Blast will take certain stage through the second half of the season.

Colin Graves, Chairman of the ECB, has reported that these changes have been made in order to make the season more manageable for players and officials and better for fans and the international teams.

Whilst the most explosive format is being reserved for the summer months which should draw in the crowds thanks to it coinciding with the school holidays, the Natwest T20 Blast could also find itself the subject of a massive overhaul in other ways.

The prospect of a franchise based tournament in England that mirrors that of the Big Bash in Australia, the IPL in India and the Ram Slam in South Africa has been getting tongues wagging for years now but these changes could just bring the reality closer.

They have however rejected a two-tier T20 competition, at least until the current broadcasting deal is up for renewal in 2019.

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