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Cricket needs to widen its regional base | Letter
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Cricket needs to widen its regional base | Letter

Alan Higham lobbies on behalf of the County Cricket Members Group and would have us believe that the selling of franchises would be unnecessary if only the first-class cricket counties were to allocate funds as their members wish (Letters, 13 May). How I wish that this were true.

The Hundred may not be perfect, but it has opened new pathways into playing and watching for young people and their families. But there is a further huge step to take. Those of us in Cornwall, Norfolk and Buckinghamshire have no access to first-class cricket in any format locally, and the pathways for our young people are convoluted and often prohibitively expensive.

The big counties have preferred to concentrate on the needs of their existing patrons, and assumed that the only worthwhile pathways for young people are the ones they control through club structures. So a young person in St Just neither gets the chance to watch good players nor has a practical pathway into the game if he or she shows promise, in the way someone from London does. Very few players from the sticks have played for England.

Cricket needs to widen its base, initially into a regional structure, as in every other major playing nation, rather than concentrate on the needs of a small group of members in the current anachronistic county structure established in the 1890s. If franchising is the best way to do this, so be it.
Jonathan Harris
President, Cornwall Schools Cricket Association 1994-2002

Source: theguardian.com