Rob Key suggests support for reduction in first-class county cricket

Key is part of a high performance review set up by Sir Andrew Strauss.

By Press Association Published: 1 June 2022 - 10.16am

England’s managing director of men’s cricket, Rob Key, has hinted that he will lobby for a reduction in first-class county cricket.

Key is part of a high performance review set up by Sir Andrew Strauss in the aftermath of another humbling Ashes defeat Down Under, joined by external figures like cycling coach Sir Dave Brailsford and Dan Ashworth from the football world.

Part of their remit is to debate the structure of the domestic game and Key has reiterated his own preferences for a streamlined championship during an appearance on the Daily Telegraph’s new Vaughany and Tuffers Cricket Club podcast.

Hampshire v Lancashire
Rob Key has been discussing the future of first-class county cricket (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Key, who was careful to point out that he was in the dark about what recommendations would ultimately be forthcoming from the group, said: “We’ve had a couple of meetings. But I have no idea how Dave Brailsford and people like that, Dan Ashworth, how they are going to see county cricket and what they think needs to happen.

“At this point in time I have no idea of what it’s going to be and how it’s going to go. It might be less four-day cricket, which I think might be the bet you could go on.

“How would I do it? I would have 10 games of championship cricket. I had my thing, the 12 best teams and one (division) below. Whether that’s how it’s going to go, I couldn’t tell you, but I don’t think that would be a bad plan.

“I think you’ve basically added in a month of the season with a competition (The Hundred), so you’ve got to lose a month’s worth of cricket. So you have 14 games now and you go down to 10 games and you end up with 10 high-quality games.”

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