Joe Root leads PCA calls for schedule change in domestic cricket

The Blast, mainly taking place in June and July this year, is a particular pinch point of the schedule, with counties wanting to host games from Thursdays to Sundays in order to maximise attendances.

This season there are 55 instances of counties playing on back-to-back days in the Blast, up from 34 last year. Combined with the County Championship, the schedule can be relentless.

In June, Gloucestershire are due to play a T20 match away to Glamorgan on a Thursday evening, a home T20 against Somerset on the Friday, then travel to Scarborough for a Championship match against Yorkshire on the Sunday morning.

Any alteration to the structure of domestic competitions has to be approved by counties.

In August 2022, an England and Wales Cricket Board high-performance review led by Andrew Strauss recommended a cut in the amount of domestic cricket, but the proposals were rejected by counties.

The PCA is now due to present the players’ views on how the schedule could be cut to the ECB.

“The point in doing this is to try and create more awareness around it,” said Mitchell. “At the ECB, there is definitely sympathy and understanding. Potentially in the wider county network with chairs and members, probably not so much, I would say.”

An ECB spokesperson said: “As the PCA recognises, the men’s domestic schedule is a complex issue. The players have an important voice in discussions around this, and we are committed to working with them and the first-class counties to discuss the best ways of overcoming some of the challenges.”

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