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Alastair Cook: No County Championship better than abridged Championship

Ben Gardner by Ben Gardner 2 minute read

Sir Alastair Cook has had his say on the potential restructure of the English cricket summer after the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a delay and a rethink.

With the county season set to start on May 28 at the earliest – after the first seven County Championship games are scheduled to take place – several options for a rejig of the calendar have been discussed.

While playing as much of the T20 Blast and The Hundred as possible is likely to be the priority, with these being the counties’ and the ECB’s biggest domestic revenue streams, playing a shortened County Championship season has been mooted as a possibility.

However, Cook has come out against the idea, with the former England captain feeling that playing no County Championship cricket at all is better than a shortened campaign.

“In this year, over the next six months, the bigger picture is the most important,” the Essex opener told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Whatever happens, if we do play any sort of cricket which hopefully we will, what I hope is that they don’t try and have a six-game County Championship or something like that. I would rather have one or two full tournaments, because if you do then play that tournament or two tournaments it is so much more rewarding to win it.

“If there is not time for a meaningful County Championship, say [only] three or four games, there is probably not much sense us having it. I would rather concentrate on two full tournaments than saying: ‘We have four tournaments that we need to play, let’s get them all in even if we have to shorten them.’ I think you would rather have two tournaments played full length so there is meaningful cricket at the end of it.”

Cook’s Essex are the defending County Championship winners.

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