Bumble's Blog: Ashes names and numbers, dinosaurs and York under water!
Last Updated: 21/03/19 4:05pm
David Lloyd offers his thoughts on Ashes shirts with names and numbers, reworking the county schedule and a week of washed out activities...
I got back from the West Indies 10 days ago and since then I've had my birthday - I don't count the years anymore! - which was very nice, lots of good wishes.
It's coming into spring now and I've got a nice little river boat up in York, I went to take it out for a birthday spin but York was underwater so I'm going to try again this weekend.
I was going to go to Accrington Stanley against Rochdale and that was flooded off, my alternative was watching FC United versus York but that was flooded too!
This weekend I'll be trying again for York City versus Boston. York are going through managers like hot cakes, now they've got Steve Watson, former Newcastle and Everton player, and they seem to be a little bit steadier.
Stanley had a good win away at Wycombe, we needed that. We're playing fine but can't get it in the back of the net! For me, it's all eyes on the football until the end of the season now.
Last week, though, it was the Cheltenham Festival. I came out on the wrong side at the end of the week but I'm a very sensible punter and I look at it as paying modestly for some brilliant entertainment.
Anybody who is against that must be great fun to go out with! Of course, you have names and numbers on, it should have been done years ago. People talk about tradition - nonsense! Absolute nonsense!
I'm not interested in tradition and 'what we've always done'. I had a boss called Lord MacLaurin and one of the things he said that has always stuck with me was, "never tell me we've always done it like this, tell me how you're going to do it."
It's just absolute common sense that these are not just anonymous people, they have their names and their numbers on the shirts. You've got to move with the times - I just despair of these dinosaurs who come firing off! Get yourself a bicycle or have a cup of coffee!
Duanne Olivier has caused a bit of a stir this week by saying he'd like to play for England after quitting South Africa to join Yorkshire on a Kolpak deal. He's left, like a number of South Africans do, to maximise his earnings, that's the bottom line. The majority of them come to England because we've got a professional structure. Personally, I think he's off the mark by saying he wants to play for England.
What I would like us to go back to in England is having two overseas players. I think it's reasonable to expect each county to eight England-qualified players. Counties can go about that how they like, they might have a Kolpak and two overseas. I've thought about making it nine players who could play for England, that would be ideal, but eight is reasonable.
Let's talk about the County Championship. This is just a personal view but I think it's absolute madness to push it to the margins of the season as the counties have done. I assume this is what the counties want and I assume that because the counties make up the ECB. It makes it a lottery.
County Championship cricket should be played in the summer and I'll put my solution out there now - I'm not interested in people saying this, that and the other, this is just my opinion. Don't even bother coming back to me!
I would play the 50-over, Royal London One-Day Cup, as a straight knockout, include minor counties, and play that early season. Championship cricket would kick in after that competition and would be in three divisions of six teams - one up, one down. That way every team would play 10 matches and in the summer.
No other country plays more than 10 red-ball matches in a season. Why should we be any different?
Then I'd play the T20 Blast in the school holidays and make it a short, sharp competition, much shorter than it is now. Following on from that, you play the new competition - The Hundred - which is there to attract a new wave of viewers and supporters. Job done.
But it appears the counties want quantity over quality. I've just read a piece from Zak Chappell, a young kid who has just joined Notts and bowls 90mph, and he has said that they can't expect him to bowl 90mph all season under the current structure. He would be able to do it under my structure.
Again, please don't come firing back at me with what about this, what about that? I'm not interested!
Finally, I've not made the commentators cut for the World Cup. I'm sure it'll be a great tournament but that won't be involving me. I'm looking forward to the Ashes where I hope I do make the commentators cut!