Hampshire’s Chris Wood warns ECB against T20 Blast changes

Hampshire’s Chris Wood warns ECB against T20 Blast changes

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Hampshire bowler Chris Wood has warned the ECB that changing the Natwest T20 Blast could ruin aspiring English talent.

The current Blast involves all Specsavers County Championship players being made available for cricket’s shortest format.

It has come under fire, however, for failing to match the glitz and glamour of other international competitions such as the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash League.

But Wood is wary of the consequences that sprucing up the league with only the best T20 players could have on younger English talent.

The 25-­year­-old said: “Definitely [it could improve]. “If you narrow the teams down, get sections of the country and make it like a Big Bash with six to eight teams, you only get the best players playing in the tournament.

“There’s not going to be 220 county players as there is at the minute. It’s going to be narrowed down to about 60­ or 70.

“At the same time you have to weigh up players losing out on their careers by doing so.”

The fast bowler is gearing up for the start of the Blast on May 27 which sees the Ageas Bowl side tackle Middlesex at Uxbridge. Likewise, the Royal London One Day Cup starts just a week later, and Wood says Hampshire are gunning for glory.

He added: “I think my main goal in one day cricket is to get to the knockout stages but obviously there are some very good teams in the league as well, so it can’t always happen.

“If we can get to the knockout stages and through the quarter final, it would be our seventh straight 20/20 finals day that the club would be in. It would be great for the club.

“A massive aim for the club is to stay up in Division One in Championship Cricket.”

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