Skip to main content

Read Rob Keyís latest thoughts in issue 64 of All Out Cricket magazine

Monday 4th January 2010

Kent captain Rob Key (pictured), one of cricket“s most respected thinkers, gives a thumbs-up to Middlesex“s overseas lead.

With Middlesex signing Adam Gilchrist as their overseas player for 20-over cricket next season (along with Sachin Tendulkar, in all likeliness) are we seeing the beginning of a new era of domestic cricket?

Leveraging a ground like Lord“s is, I believe, a great move for Middlesex. I can imagine people in the ground after work just to see these superstars play. If, for all home games, Angus Fraser“s pink-and-blue army can shift 20,000-plus tickets, the club would have to be in credit at the end of the year.

With the news that the Ashes may go free-to-air and this possibly meaning less money from the television rights in the future, counties are going to have to start thinking of new ways to generate a lot more cash themselves. If Middlesex“s plan comes off it could make way for a lot more clubs entering the market and investing in big name players. Especially the counties that have the potential to fill their ground with 15,000 plus fans.

Will this force a change in the structure of our domestic game? I personally would be happy to play slightly less four-day cricket and replace it with more T20 stuff. I see that as a win for both players and clubs.

You often hear players talking about the fact they ‘play too much cricket“. This is not in doubt. However, it does not mean that I want to play less cricket. I believe that it would drastically enhance the standard of our domestic game if we played less four-day cricket.

Imagine being a fast bowler nowadays. Sure you would be able to roar in on the first day of the season but what sort of pace do you think you would be at when you are coming to the end of a 13-days-in-a-fortnight stint? And that“s only assuming your body has allowed you to get that far.

As players we have to realise that we have a duty to not just take money from our counties in salaries but also to bring money in. One-day cricket is our chance to do this. If playing less four-day cricket means we have to play more 20-over stuff – and even 40 over cricket – then that is a fair trade-off as far as I“m concerned.

Whatever happens, the next few years promise to be an exciting time. I“m sure I am not alone in looking forward to the chance to come up against Adam Gilchrist at a packed Lord“s. Hopefully this will just be the start and it will pave the way for more counties to delve into the game“s toppermost drawer for their stellar signings.

Issue 64 of All Out Cricket is available now and can be purchased from the Eleventh Wicket club shop at the St Lawrence Ground.

Photo: Getty Images