County opt not to sup­port ECB’s new T20 plans

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport -

Kent will not sup­port the ECB’s con­tro­ver­sial plans for the new city-based fran­chise T20 com­pe­ti­tion. The club are one of 41 mem­bers of the ECB with a vote on whether to change the ex­ist­ing con­sti­tu­tion to pave the way for a new eight-team com­pe­ti­tion from 2020 but an­nounced on Mon­day that af­ter study­ing feed­back from sup­port­ers they will ab­stain in the ECB bal­lot – the only op­tion open to the club other than back­ing the pro­posal. The ECB need 31 votes in sup­port of their plans to pass and though Kent join Es­sex and Mid­dle­sex in con­firm­ing they will not vote in favour, York­shire, Der­byshire, Som­er­set and Le­ices­ter­shire have al­ready claimed they will vote for the change. It is ex­pected that the mea­sure will pass, with other votes com­ing from some of the other 18 First Class Coun­ties, 21 County Boards in nonFC coun­ties, the MCC and the Mi­nor Coun­ties Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion. Kent chief ex­ec­u­tive Jamie Clif­ford said: “Whilst Kent Cricket does not wish to be at odds with the ECB, the pro­pos­als for the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the game as they stand are such that the club can­not ac­tively en­dorse them. “The club has, there­fore, taken the view that an ab­sten­tion is the ap­pro­pri­ate re­ac­tion to the pro­posed change of ECB ar­ti­cles. We be­lieve that our stance re­flects the anx­i­ety there is amongst non-Test match grounds – those un­likely to host new teams – that their role as ac­tive play­ers in the fu­ture of the game is at risk.” Mr Clif­ford said he hopes the ‘in­evitable’ changes can be al­tered to en­sure the game ben­e­fits, adding: “There are far­reach­ing con­se­quences to what is pro­posed. “We hope that the plans will now evolve to the over­all bet­ter­ment of the whole game in Eng­land and Wales and that ECB’s hoped for out­comes around the pro­file of the game, par­tic­i­pa­tion and fi­nance are de­liv­ered. “To see First-Class coun­ties re­duced to bit-part play­ers will not be an ac­cept­able out­come – no mat­ter how high the pro­file of the new Twenty20 com­pe­ti­tion.” KENT’S NEXT FIVE GAMES Apr 27 Hamp­shire (Can­ter­bury)... RLC May 2 Som­er­set (Taun­ton) ........... RLC May 5 Sus­sex (Can­ter­bury) ......... RLC May 7 Mid­dle­sex (Can­ter­bury) ... RLC May 10 Glouces­ter­shire (Bris­tol) .. RLC

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