Wednesday, February 1, 2023

ECB: Men’s High Performance Review publishes final report

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  • Final report features 17 recommendations to enable sustained success for England men’s teams and a thriving domestic game
  • ECB Board and Executive endorse all recommendations in final report
  • 15 of the 17 recommendations fall to the ECB to implement
  • Decisions over proposals for changes to the men’s domestic competitions and schedule will be for the First-Class Counties to decide upon
  • Review recommends first-class cricket is played in each month from May until September

The men’s High-Performance Review (MHPR) has today published its final report in which it has set out 17 recommendations for cricket to consider and implement.

The review was established following last winter’s men’s Ashes defeat in Australia with the goal of establishing England Men as the world’s best team across all formats within five years. The recommendations focus on developing an aligned high-performance strategy across the men’s professional game, while ensuring that a thriving domestic game is sustained and enhanced.

The ECB Board and Executive acknowledge the extremely thorough work undertaken by the review team, led by Sir Andrew Strauss, and have endorsed the recommendations of its final report.

It is within the ECB’s remit to implement 15 of the 17 recommendations and it will now begin the process of understanding the best ways it can efficiently and effectively deliver them.

Two of the review’s recommendations relate to the men’s domestic structure and it is now for the First-Class Counties (FCCs) to determine how those will be delivered.

The FCCs have requested that there is no change to next year’s men’s domestic schedule in order to allow for sufficient time to reflect and debate the recommendations.

The ECB will continue to consult with the FCCs on the structure for 2024.

Under the ECB’s constitution, any change to the number of domestic competitions, matches in each competition and promotion/relegation will require the support of two-thirds or more of FCCs.

Men’s High Performance Review Lead, Sir Andrew Strauss, said: “I am delighted that we are today able to publish the report, which sets out the fundamental changes that we believe are needed to achieve sustained success for our England Men’s team and to enable the men’s domestic game to evolve in the face of a rapidly-changing environment for cricket globally.

“The game must be united if we are to achieve those ambitions and we must be open-minded to change. The most consistent message we have received, from players to fans and coaches, was that the status quo is not an option.

“I encourage people to consider our proposals as a package, and I welcome the opportunity for informed debate on the recommended changes to the men’s domestic structure.

“There are no easy answers on the men’s domestic structure. The recommendations have prioritised a more coherent schedule which is more manageable for overworked players, coaches and groundstaff while providing the quality and quantity of cricket that fans want to watch and which meets our high-performance objectives.

“That includes playing first-class cricket in each month from May until September, increasing the standard and intensity of the LV= Insurance County Championship and ensuring more opportunities for the best players to play across all domestic competitions.”

ECB chair, Richard Thompson, said: “The ECB Board and Executive unanimously support the men’s High Performance Review’s recommendations.

“This is a significant piece of work that has the potential to benefit all parts of the men’s professional game.

“The depth of analysis and detail provides clear guidance at a time cricket faces much uncertainty and, importantly, at its heart recognises that a thriving men’s domestic game is the foundation for sustained success on the international stage.

“The majority of the recommendations fall to the ECB to deliver and I look forward to beginning that process now.

“Decision-making regarding the recommendations around the men’s domestic structure ultimately belongs to the First-Class Counties. It is now right that they are given the time to digest those recommendations before consulting their members, staff and other stakeholders.

“We are aware of the challenges within many counties over the reduction in red-ball cricket in particular. Those concerns have been taken on board and reflected in the recommendations. If there is a reduction in the volume of cricket for a sensible and workable schedule along with seeing the best players more often, I believe that is a good trade-off, particularly as it will improve England’s chances of success in the future.

“It is important that heading into next season that the First-Class Counties are aware of what they are playing for in 2024.”

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