Smith prepared to wait and see regarding new schedule

Northants, seen here in 40-over action last season, will be playing 50-over cricket in 2014
Northants, seen here in 40-over action last season, will be playing 50-over cricket in 2014
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Northamptonshire chief executive David Smith admits that he has concerns about the 2014 domestic calendar but is prepared to reserve judgement.

The County’s schedule was announced on Tuesday and it contains a number of changes from last season’s version.

These include Championship cricket that starts on a Sunday, a Twenty20 competition that runs over a 10-week period as opposed to the much shorter time span that has been previously preferred and a limited overs format that has been switched from 40 to 50 overs and will begin in late July.

There are myriad factors that combine to form the fixture list with the clubs and broadcasters requiring their respective input and Smith believes that what has been agreed needs a chance to settle down.

He said: “From what I understand, the schedule we’ve got from next year will be in place until 2017.

“That’s what has been agreed with Sky and so we need to make it work.

“We’re certainly happy with the fact that Championship cricket has been given a regular slot but with regard to the 50-over game we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Smith has long been an advocate of Sunday afternoon one-day cricket and has routinely spoken out about his support for the 40-over format.

That, for the time being at least, looks to have been consigned to the history books and its replacement has drawn a cautious response.

He added: “There will be no one-day cricket on a Sunday for the first time, if I’m correct, since 1969 and I’ve certainly got concerns about that.

“But we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes and this time next year we could be saying what a good move it was.”