The ECB appeared to make progress this year with the predictability of county teams' fixtures. T20 matches were mainly on a Friday night with the County Championship being played from a Sunday. As ever, there were flaws with some teams having to play an exasperating amount of cricket over consecutive days across the country and very little cricket played on Saturdays.
The ECB continue to cram in cricket regardless of the negative effect it can have on
players' fitness and mental states. This led to injuries, fatigue and forced
counties to rest key players. If the amount of games were to be reduced many
benefits would be seen for players and fans alike.
The main one, from the point of view of a county chairman's pockets, would be the opportunity to play in the Champions League Twenty20 competition, the qualifiers of which begin this Saturday. The increased revenue would massively help smaller counties who make the domestic T20 final, such as last year's winners, Northamptonshire.
It would also give an opportunity for young English players to rub shoulders with the best players in the world. The likes of Chopra, Clark and Parry have all missed out on this chance this year to further their limited over games. True, past performances by English sides in this competition have left a lot to be desired, but both Warwickshire and Lancashire could have made an impact. At least one would have made it past the qualifiers.
After their recent performances against India, England have been lambasted as being old-fashioned, particularly when it comes to ODI cricket. To stop your own players, such as Woakes and Buttler (both finalists of the domestic competition), from going to an incredibly modern tournament seems fool-hardy.
Yet players will continue to be deprived of this golden opportunity until there is another rethink with the county schedule.