Adams outlines franchise concerns

Jimmy Adams. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
Jimmy Adams. Picture: Dave Vokes/LMI Photography
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Jimmy Adams admits he has his reservations over the plausibility of an English Big Bash.

The Australian version of the domestic t20 tournament has enjoyed large crowds and big TV audiences with Aussie cricket fans embracing the concept of eight franchise teams battling it out for glory in a six-week stint.

The English version currently extends across three months, involves all 18 counties, and many feel the competition is too bloated.

But while Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry has spoken of his support for the franchise system during his victorious spell with Perth Scorchers, his opening partner and county skipper, Jimmy Adams, believes a radical overhaul and an Aussie-style revamp is not that simple.

Adams said: ‘It’s something that most players in most changing rooms have discussed.

‘You see the way the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash works.

‘I know Carbs has gone on the record with it and others have said similar things recently.

‘It probably does sound good but it’s not quite as easy as that when you are talking about 18 counties in the mix.

‘It’s not as easy to go “right, we’re going to cut it from 18 teams to nine”.

‘There are a lot of things to be considered. You can’t just flick a switch and go to a franchise system.

‘As a cricketing country, we do have to acknowledge stuff that does seem to be working and discuss the practicalities and possibilities.

‘But it’s tough to work out. Some counties would see it as the beginning of the end.

‘If you are not involved in the t20, will you suddenly be edged out in the other stuff?

‘It’s one step down that line.’

With the Natwest t20 Blast a key revenue stream for many counties, it’s hard to see how they would choose to give that up in favour of new city-based teams.

That becomes even less palatable for Portsmouth-based Hampshire fans.

But Carberry believes a new franchise system would help boost interest in the game.

He said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

‘It’s definitely on a par with playing for England.

‘Initially, it was a bit of a shock to see how popular this competition is, but you just throw yourself into it and completely get caught up in it.

‘In my time as a player it’s something that’s been going for quite a while – to get this franchise system going back home, just to give the competition back home a bit of rejuvenation.

‘You look at these crowds and you can see it obviously works.

‘It’s always the market. The little things like the kits – bright orange, bright pink and lime green.

‘Visually it’s great to watch. We’ve got mums bringing kids because it’s a great product.’

But while Adams is open to the idea of incorporating new ideas into the domestic game, he is also keen to uphold the traditions.

He said: ‘You always need that balance between the modern innovation and the traditional side of the game, which is so much a part of it as well.

‘It’s tough to weigh it all up and fortunately it’s not me that has to worry about that sort of stuff.’