Porter urges league revamp delay until 2012 season review

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Professional Cricketers Association chief Angus Porter feels it would make sense to delay implementing the Morgan Report into the structure of domestic cricket.

Former International Cricket Council president David Morgan published a report last month which recommended moving from a 16- to a 14-match County Championship season and from 40 to 50 overs in domestic one-day cricket, among other structural changes to be implemented for 2013.

But with the structure having already changed for this season, Porter advocates waiting to see how successful that schedule proves before tinkering further.

Porter, a member of the ECB’s cricket committee, said: “The Morgan Review has a difficult task trying to reconcile a lot of views about a structure which is quite complicated.

“The views of the cricket committee and the players are pretty similar, in that we think the structure we have in 2012 is a pretty good one. It would make sense to review this season before making any decisions about the long-term future.

“We have switched the structure of our competitions relatively frequently but this, I think, is the first time recommendations have been made to change the structure before we’ve even tried the one we’ve just switched to.

“The next step is that the (ECB) board will review the inputs made by the cricket committee, the players and the counties at its meeting in March.

“They too have a balance to strike between having a good deal of consultation and, in the end, the need to make a decision and provide some leadership.”

A 14-match County Championship season with nine teams in each division would mean teams would face some opponents once and others twice.

And Porter said: “The issue players have with the competitions proposed in the Morgan Review is that all three of them lack integrity and symmetry – not one is a simple league or knockout, they’re all very complicated arrangements.

“We came up with a proposal that instead of eight (teams) in the first division and 10 in the second (of the Championship), we could have two conferences of five in the second division so that at least each side would have identical fixture lists.

“Whether that gets adopted we will have to see, we haven’t been pushing it too hard because we’re not yet convinced of the benefits of switching from 16 to 14 matches.”

Worcestershire’s hopes of England’s Test tormentor, spinner Saeed Ajmal, rejoining them this summer could be scuppered if Pakistan’s proposed tour of Sri Lanka goes ahead this summer.

Ajmal has re-signed for the Royals to play in the Twenty20 competition.