Changes lined up for 2014 domestic schedule

The Clydesdale Bank 40, won by Hampshire last season, only has one more year in existence before being replaced by the 50-over format
The Clydesdale Bank 40, won by Hampshire last season, only has one more year in existence before being replaced by the 50-over format
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A return to 50-over cricket and a Friday evening slot for the Twenty20 competition are two changes expected to be implemented for the 2014 county season.

Following an online survey that attracted in excess of 25,000 responses from supporters of the county game and the failure of the ECB’s Morgan Report to find an agreeable structure, the game’s governing body have drawn up a proposed schedule that will initially be in place for a four-year period from the season after next.

One of the main complaints directed at the fixture list has been that there is no consistency to when the various forms games are played but that has been rectified to some degree.

The first fourteen of the 16 rounds of the County Championship, which will retain the two-divisional set-up, will start on Sundays and continue until the third week of September.

The Twenty20, having seen a big drop off in attendance numbers in the last couple of years, will run through the majority of the season with games being played mainly on Friday evenings. The quarter-final stage and finals day will continue in the present format but no counties will participate in the Champions League due to the competition clashing with the end of the English season.

With the attitude towards the 40-over game remaining indifferent, the decision has been taken to revert back to 50 overs to replicate the international game.

Every county will play eight games with knockout stages starting from the quarter-finals and there will be no place for the Netherlands, Scotland or the Unicorns who have played in the CB40 in recent years.