Will Ipswich be a venue for 20/20 games?
COULD Ipswich stage a major league Twenty/20 cricket game every other Sunday?This is one of the many proposals being considered by the English and Wales Cricket Board as it looks to bring the game into the 21st century.
COULD Ipswich stage a major league Twenty/20 cricket game every other Sunday?
This is one of the many proposals being considered by the English and Wales Cricket Board as it looks to bring the game into the 21st century.
Such has been the success of the biff-bang shorter version of the game that plans are afoot to increase the number of Twenty/20 matches played.
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The IPL series in India has attracted huge crowds and earned some of the best players in the world huge amounts of money.
There are plans to stage a similar event in England every year while a Twenty/20 game at Chelmsford sees Essex play in front of around 7,000 whereas an average day in four-day County Championship match draws in little more than a few purists and around 400 in total.
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Economics will decree that the six-hitting version of the game continues to grow, and it is one way of breathing new life into the Minor Counties scene.
Instead of playing as Suffolk in six three-day championship matches a season attracting little more than 200 spectators or so a day and taking them to far-flung places like Carlisle and Newcastle, the same players could play for Ipswich and compete in a twenty/20 league every Sunday.
This would put the team on the same footing as Ipswich Town and perhaps rival attendance levels that the Evening Star Witches speedway team attract to Foxhall Stadium.
'Ipswich' would be at home one week and away the next with opposition coming from places such as Norwich, Cambridge, Peterborough, Lincoln and even Chelmsford and Canterbury - or even wider afield.
Suffolk CCA chairman Norman Atkins is the county representative on a number of issues at the ECB and he admits that there are many proposals currently under discussion at the game's headquarters for England and Wales.
But he does not see any major changes for a while.
“There are a load of proposals and discussions taking place,” said Atkins. “Some of them are hair-brained, but some might see the light of day.
“The Minor Counties Knock-Out Cup might be altered in some way, but whether it is turned into a Twenty/20 competition we will have to wait and see.
“But I cannot see the three-day Minor Counties Championship being affected for the foreseeable future.”
Suffolk play their final 2008 Minor Counties KO Cup group match tomorrow (SUN) when Staffordshire visit Mildenhall for an 11am start.
Justin Bishop is set to captain the Suffolk side again, but after losing their opening two matches his side has no chance of making further progress.
They won their last game at Hertfordshire however, and Atkins said: “The team will be playing for pride and looking to win.”
Suffolk won this competition last year with a Lord's final victory over Cheshire in late August.
Last weekend's Minor Counties Championship opener at Dunstable against Bedfordshire was rained off without a ball being bowled - only the seventh time this has happened since Suffolk played their first game in the competition in 1904.