London: Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) should consider shortening the County Championship this season. He has also suggested the scrapping of overseas recruits for the next two years. This will reduce costs substantially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECB suspends cricket activities
The ECB has already suspended all cricket activities till July 1 due to the coronavirus outbreak. It has infected more than three million people globally.
ECB’s decision has led to the cancellation of nine rounds of the County Championship fixtures. If the season is scrapped completely, it will lead to a loss of 85 million pounds for the counties.
“You have to look at every area where you can save a few quid,” Vaughan said. He was participating on the ‘Tuffers and Vaughan Show’ on ‘BBC Radio 5 Live’. “Traditionalists will go mad at this, but these are unprecedented times. In the next two years, could you look at not having overseas players for the four-day game,” Vaughan added.
Many counties have cancelled the contracts of several overseas players in 20202. Among them are Indian cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Vaughan captained England’s Test team between 2003 and 2008. He suggested shortening the County Championship from 14 to 10 games.
“Four-day cricket costs the game. The 45-year old Vaughan said the cost incurred in conducting four-day games can be reduced for a couple of years. Vaughan captained England in 51 Tests of the 82 he played.
“If you reduced it from 14 to 10 games, you’d miss the games. In the present context, I don’t think it would be a huge problem for a couple of years. You could go back to that format in two or three years,” the former skipper opined.