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Thursday, July 15, 2010

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Russ

RS, I think you are misdiagnosing the problem focusing on the 151 matches. That many matches is not unusual for a league competition - the EPL has 380 for example. The problem lies in the scheduling. The normal format for a league is a weekly competition, where every team plays at once. It has a nice rhythm we are all familiar with: anticipation, games, review. The audience focuses on their local games, set within the broader league context.

But for reasons best known only to themselves, cricket authorities always seem to schedule T20 like a tournament: daily games with no discernable pattern to the fixturing. Tournaments "work" by building throughout separate stages to a finale, and it is that lack of perceived progression that is lacking.

I'd therefore propose something simpler (and common): play the league in rounds of mid-week (Tuesday/Wednesday) and weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun) rounds, with the tv content on Monday and Thursday being review/preview shows. And lower ticket prices, unless the stands are 75% full they are too high.

The Reverse Sweep

Russ, you make a good point about the scheduling - it is awful. But, I guess to attract overseas stars like Gilchrist and Symonds for a six week period is much easier (and cheaper) than over a whole season with scheduling a la football's Premier League. So it may be that cricket is more tied to a tournament like format for its T20 leagues - if that is the case, they are better making them leaner to avoid overkill and keep interest higher. But if cricket schedule a T20 league as you suggest, it certainly merits a closer look.

Russ

RS, that is the strange thing. By scheduling in a way that the can show as many games as possible on tv, the current format spreads the fixtures out so much it is actually no faster than having two rounds per week (16 games should take 8 weeks plus 1 for finals). I've argued elsewhere that they should institute four 6-week T20 domestic windows across the year (12 per hemisphere) which would be more than enough for even a large competition and champions league, properly scheduled.

The Reverse Sweep

That would certainly be a cleaner way of doing it Russ and as you say would only make the tournament eight weeks long. Interesting food for thought. I still think 16 games is too many (as is 18 sides), but it would make sense for the ECB to try your idea.

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