Pothas: T20 tournament will help England compete internationally

Nic Pothas in action during his Hampshire days. Picture: Rob Atkins
Nic Pothas in action during his Hampshire days. Picture: Rob Atkins
Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp

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Nic POthas believes a new domestic twenty20 tournament is crucial if England want to continue to compete with the best internationally.

But the ex-Hampshire wicketkeeper reckons there could be conflict in which team fans decide to support.

A new eight team city-based competition, proposed by ECB chairman Colin Graves, would see squads of 15 play 36 matches over 38 days in July and August.

If it gets the green light, the new format could start in 2020 and one of the teams may be based at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl.

The tournament would aim to imitate the success of the Indian Premier League and Big Bash in Australia.

Although Pothas has welcomed the news, he also worries supporters may not get behind their local side.

He said: ‘From a product point of view, England need a franchise-type tournament.

‘It is good for the England t20 team because you want your best players playing against the best players.

‘If it was me, I would be putting together a good marketing team before I thought about players.

‘If there is going to be a team from London, it may be like the Mumbai Indians and Melbourne Stars in the Indian Premier League and Big Bash.

‘Some people might support the team with the most money rather than their own franchise.

‘It could also depend on where the franchises are going to be to fill stadiums.’

Pothas also insisted if there is a team based at the Ageas Bowl, they should not be called Southampton.

He added: ‘Hampshire value support from the whole county, including Portsmouth. I can’t stand people thinking it is just a Southampton club.’

– WILL ROONEY