County cricket clubs make U-TURN over the red-ball format this season

Concerns over a split in county cricket eased following U-TURN from a group of clubs who had indicated that they did not want to play red-ball format this season

  • Concerns over a split in county cricket have been eased after a sudden u-turn 
  • Some clubs had said that they didn’t want to play the red-ball format this season 
  • A fierce backlash looks to have prompted a change of stance from the dissenters

Concerns over a split in county cricket have been eased following what appears to be a u-turn from a group of clubs who had indicated that they did not want to play the red-ball format this season.

As revealed by Sportsmail, a simmering row was set to explode with some of the bigger clubs preparing to battle their smaller counterparts amid a belief that some might be captialising on the Government’s furlough scheme and stood to make money should they remain mothballed for the remainder of the campaign.

However, a fierce backlash – along with a reality check – looks to have prompted a change of stance from the dissenters.

Concerns over a split in county cricket have been eased following what appears to be a u-turn 

Northamptonshire were believed to be among four counties objecting to the return. They declined to comment when contacted on Sunday. However, on Monday afternoon they released a statement with chief executive Ray Payne saying he was, and had always been, eager to see a restart when safe to do so.

The threat of being unable to rejoin the County Championship should they decide to opt out appears to have focused minds and sources have claimed that Wednesday’s meeting of the counties may well be ‘volatile’ regardless of changes of position.

Sixteen of the 18 counties – with the exception of Lancashire and Surrey – had placed their players on the government’s furlough scheme. Some, who felt that their clubs may prevent them from playing by opposing the return of the four-day game, were said to be contemplating legal action.

Only Lancashire and Surrey have not taken advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme

At the summit, the ECB will crucially provide more guidance on funding. They have currently paid out the money due to counties until the end of July and many are looking for a commitment for that to be extended until next January.

Some counties may ask their cricketers to return on reduced salaries. The option not to play on health grounds is also likely to be made available to players.

Glamorgan’s situation is an interesting one. Welsh government rules have differed to those of Westminster throughout the crisis but similar differences are not expected to prevent their return.




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