County Championship points overhaul set out to incentivise winning and big scores

·2-min read
 (Getty Images for Surrey CCC)
(Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

A revamped points system for the County Championship is among the suggestions put forward in the ECB’s High Performance Review, which was led by Andrew Strauss.

Under the proposals, bowling points would be scrapped, with winning incentivised, along with making big team scores.

The review has reached the consultation stage, with counties set to vote next month on any changes (a two-thirds majority would be required) to the structure or playing conditions of domestic cricket.

The idea, as with a number of the review’s suggestions, is to encourage the production of flatter pitches, and bring fast bowlers and spinners into the game over medium-pacers, who have thrived in recent years. It is also possible that a brand of ball other than Dukes, (likely Kookaburra) is used for some of the season.

Under the proposed system, a win would be worth three points and a draw just one.

Bonus points would only be available for batting – and if the team wins. If a team won with a score of 325-399 in any innings of the match, they would receive one bonus point. And if a team won with a score of 400-plus in any innings of the match, they would receive two bonuses. So a maximum of five points is available to winning teams, while the losers receive nothing.

Under the current system, teams get 16 points for a win and eight for a draw. There are then bonus points for batting in the first 110 overs of the match’s first two innings. So a team earns a point for each milestone they pass between 200 and 400 (with a maximum of five) and a point for taking three, six and nine wickets. The bonus points, with a maximum of eight, are received whether the team win, lose or draw.

While the County Championship will remain at 14 games per team next season, an overall reduction in domestic cricket has recommended by the report. It seems possible that the Championship will be reduced to 10-12 games from 2024, with non-Championship red-ball cricket – perhaps in a regional structure – played alongside the Hundred, a slot currently occupied by the Royal London One-Day Cup.