An examination of the first class county cricket championship as an effective structure for producing equivalently proficient Test match teams

SHIBLI, Simon and WILKINSON-RIDDLE, G. J. (1998). An examination of the first class county cricket championship as an effective structure for producing equivalently proficient Test match teams. Managing Leisure, 3 (2), 85-97.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/136067198376094


Previous research has demonstrated the strategic vulnerability of English cricket and illustrated how the first class counties were dependent upon England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) distributions for 34% of their gross revenues. The ECB in turn is dependent upon television income for 40% of its revenue which it receives predominantly for England international matches. Therefore, there is a direct link between the commercial attractiveness of the England team and the financial health of county cricket. Using an Equivalent Proficiency Indicator to analyse One Day International and Test match cricket results, the evidence suggests that the England team is as proficient as its opponents in one day cricket, but considerably less proficient in Test match cricket. Given that both forms of cricket are played by the same personnel and under largely the same conditions, it is suggested that the performance of the England team in Test matches compared with its performance in one day internationals is not a function of playing ability per se; rather it can only be explained by the type of preparation provided by the domestic competitions. Domestic cricket, the preparation for international cricket, falls into two broad categories: the four day County Championship game which prepares players for Test match cricket and the one day competitions which prepare players for the One Day Internationals. While the one day competitions closely replicate One Day International conditions, the four day County Championship does not replicate Test match conditions. Analysis of the four day game in England and Australia reveals significant differences in the preparation they provide. Most notably the average match duration of the English four day game is significantly shorter than that of Test matches and of the Australian four day domestic competition, the Sheffield Shield. In conclusion we review the attempts made during the Summer of 1997 to reorganize the County Championships and provide a commentary on the adequacy of the reforms so far adopted.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sport Industry Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1080/136067198376094
Depositing User: Rebecca Jones
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 11:23
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2014 11:23

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