Kent cricket chief Jamie Clifford upbeat about ECB plans for city-based T20 tournament
PUBLISHED: 13:02 07 April 2017
The CEO said it was “bound to spill over” and bring more cricket supporters to the county
Plans for a city-based T20 tournament are “bound to spill over” and bring more cricket supporters to Kent, the club’s chief executive has said.
The coutny has been one of the most vocal critics of the proposals put forward by the ECB to create the country’s own version of the Indian Premier League and Big Bash which have been so successful elsewhere by 2020.
The move is designed to drive up participation and interest among a younger audience and raise the profile of the sport generally.
After receiving reassurances that the competition would not interfere with the existing T20 Blash and county championship formats, CEO Jamie Clifford told Kent News it had now reached a stage where the county had to be supportive.
“There comes a point where, if there’s an inevitability about what’s going to happen, we have to get behind it and make it as good as it possibility can be,” he said.
“We don’t really know how it will play out - we know there will be eight teams and those teams will play at various venues and we know county cricket will carry on, but we’ve got three more seasons before then.
“All I know is it would be very unusual for Kent not to want to play a massive part in the future of the game, however that is shaped.
“We represent the second highest population of recreational cricketers in the country behind Yorkshire, we’ve got 3.2 million people living inside Kent and the four London boroughs allocated to us.
“That’s a big population and we’ve got to make sure those people are fully engaged in whatever the future holds, and we’ll work hard to make sure that’s the case.
“If the game enjoys a resurgence in terms of profile and participation and people following, you would expect there to be a positive knock-on to county cricket, so is it the beginning of the end? Far from it.
“The architects who have come up with this solution are all people charged with the responsibility of running a game for 18 counties.
“If you watch a T20 game in the new competition and you like it, but you live in Folkestone, why would you not want to come to a Blast game at Canterbury? It’s bound to spill over.”