Monday, October 24th, 2022


Following widescale discussion during multiple Members’ Forums and following the Board’s consideration – Worcestershire County Cricket Club can confirm the following:

  • The Sir Andrew Strauss-led High-Performance Review (HPR) has many aspects that we support looking through the important lens of improving international performance.
  • However, at the county level, reducing County Championship fixtures is not supported. Our preference and desire is to maintain 14 games rather than reduce to 10 games, as proposed in the HPR.
  • We totally support the best v best overriding principle in the HPR and believe this can be achieved with two divisions rather than three leagues of six counties. We favour a true meritocracy with two up and two down from each division.
  • Worcestershire does not support reducing the number of Vitality Blast games from the current level of 14 games. That would be particularly harmful to counties like ours that do not have alternative games to host.
  • A reduction in County Championship and Vitality Blast fixtures would harm the holistic health of cricket in our county and beyond.
  • Our preference would be to truncate The Hundred (if possible) to reduce strain on the overall schedule. There is very limited appetite amongst our members to play first-class Festival cricket during this period.
  • Reducing the level of competition for select players (seamers, internationals) is a serious consideration properly highlighted in the HPR. This can potentially be achieved for these players by other means, such as limiting their number of fixtures, as in other sports, rather than wholesale reductions for all.
  • It should be noted that many of our players choose to play cricket for other teams when not appearing for us, indicating that for many, they desire more cricket. More analysis and consultation with players is required on this important issue.
  • The concentration of the schedule, and in particular the switch from one type of cricket to another, is an important factor that needs improving with better scheduling of competitions rather than a per se reduction in overall games.
  • The schedule will not change materially in 2023, therefore, we have time to work through and properly consider any putative change for 2024.

We look forward to working with other counties, the PCA and the ECB to arrive at an appropriate solution in the best interests of cricket.