Derbyshire are the latest county to announce their support for the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new regional T20 competition.
In recent weeks, Somerset, Sussex, Leicestershire and Yorkshire have all confirmed they are supporting the new tournament, scheduled to begin in 2020, while only Middlesex have so far come out against. The ECB requires a three quarter majority of all its 41 members – including the 18 first-class counties, MCC, the Minor Counties Association and the 21 non first-class counties – to change their constitution which currently prohibits any competition from proceeding without all 18 first-class counties. The ECB have the required votes which means an eight-team T20 regional tournament will begin in four years time.
Derbyshire Chairman Ian Morgan said: “The Supervisory Board has unanimously supported the change to the ECB Articles of Association to pave the way for a new Twenty20 tournament.
“The number of people who follow, watch and play the game is not where we would like it. We know that the recreational game is under pressure from the ever-growing list of new sports and activities it has to compete with, so we have to attract new people to the game at all levels
“The majority of people who watch cricket today are of the older generation, and we must get a younger audience through our doors. As we’ve seen with the Big Bash League in Australia and the Indian Premier League, a tournament of that nature can attract more families with young children to watch and go on to play cricket.
“The new city based T20 competition is all part of the ECB’s ‘Cricket Unleashed’ strategy. Cricket needs to attract boys and girls to the game through the All Stars Cricket programme, and a new Twenty20 competition will offer a box office experience that will gain greater exposure on mobile devices, tablets, as well as television.”