No reduction in County Championship matches next year

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Football News

There will be no reduction in the number of LV= County Championship matches next season.

It had been widely reported that 16 matches may come down to 14 from next season, and that the changes could be confirmed after an England and Wales Cricket Board executive committee meeting next week.

That will not happen, however, with ECB set to engage in further discussions on "long-term strategy as well as the domestic structure".


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It is understood ECB chief executive Tom Harrison and chairman Colin Graves have written to their county counterparts to update them on the intended process.

Reports during this summer's consultations so far, under the ECB's new management team, have suggested variously that a revamped Twenty20 domestic tournament - or possibly even two to run each season - may mean the need to cut the number of days of championship cricket.

There still appear to be significant proposals to discuss for possible changes, but none is to be brought in for next summer.

Graves announced before the beginning of his five-year tenure, effective from this spring, that he wanted to "leave a legacy" for his sport in this country and would start with a "blank sheet of paper" for a "top-to-bottom review".

Harrison made clear last month in a radio interview that a reduction of 16 four-day matches to 14 could help accommodate a new Twenty20 domestic competition to rival Australia's Big Bash and the Indian Premier League.

Changes still seem highly likely, but will not take effect until 2017 at the earliest.

An ECB spokesman has clarified the latest situation.

"There have been a lot of valuable conversations across the game over recent weeks, and the time and feedback have been widely appreciated," he said.

"We've heard both a desire to look at the long-term interests of the game and an understandable need to have more detail on the impact of any future changes.

"Clearly, more discussion will be helpful for everyone - and these constructive conversations will focus on the long-term strategy as well as the domestic structure, to help us all make the right decisions."

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