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Kent Cricket

SteveTreacle

Vital Squad Member
Beckenham is the hub for all the West Kent players coming through the youth setup. If it didn't exist they'd end up playing for Surrey.

So basically Zak Crawley, Alex Blake, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Billings would all have been lost.

The boroughs of Bexley, Lewisham, Bromley and Greenwich are all historically kent, and within the Kent CCC catchment area, and have a population of around 1.2m people combined. The population of modern Kent is 1.8m, so you'd be frankly stupid to just sack off that many cricket mad people.

The top flight of the Kent Cricket League is also currently made up of ten sides, with Bexley top, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Bickley Park, Blackheath, Holmesdale CC, Beckenham and Bromley - ALL OF WHOM ARE WEST KENT.

Sandwich and Lordswood are the only non west kenters up there - basically Kent should be focussing MORE on the west then the rest.
Surely by your argument re the Hundred in getting new people involve in cricket, Kent should be focusing less on the West and focusing more on areas where they generate less interest and fewer players and fans? Medway probably being the best example....
 

SteveTreacle

Vital Squad Member
Somerset have a claim on south Bristol and I can remember them playing games there.

Surrey only have about a dozen fans. The rest join to get Test tickets. The Oval is effectively a home game for Kent as the majority there are Kent fans when we play them (or the plastics mentioned above).
I remember a few years ago, Kent playing a home game or two at Surrey, I guess for that very reason (and to generate lots more money!)
 

PhilK66

Vital 1st Team Regular
Disagree with nearly all of that. T20 didn't kill off County Cricket as it involved all of the counties and excluded no teams or fans. Also, the concept of 20 over matches is a well-known and loved we - we all started playing 20 over matches as kids didn't we and a lot of clubs played this even before the invention of T20. Also, the IPL and Big Bash basically transferred over old state and regional teams to new franchises. The Big Bash for example transferred over all of its state team to City franchises with the addition of another Melbourne/Victoria franchise, so it wasn't exclusionist like the Hundred ommitting 10 teams and all of their fans.

The line the ECB keep trotting out is that its aimed at a new audience and they keep rambling on about it being aimed at more diverse audiences and the like and they've said they are going to get rid of the likes of Sweet Caroline, Queen and Hi Ho Silver lining to be replaced by rap and grime music - I'm sure the whole crowd will be belting out the great tuneful singalongs of Stormzy and co at the matches. If anyone has seen the England v Pakistan T20s, they'd have seen diverse crowds of different ages and sexes and young and old, male and female, England and Pakistan fans belting out Sweet Caroline and We are the Champions. What's the problem and wrong with that?

The Hundred is not wanted or needed and the money could have easily been thrown at the current T20 Blast by the ECB (which it never has been before), got the international and England stars involved in that, with draft systems and razmatazz and half of the country wouldn't be excluded from it. I gave the example above of my son having experienced his first cricket at Canterbury as a 7 year old two years ago in his summer and Easter Holidays, watching the Blast and 50 over comp. He's desparate to go again this season, but there is no cricket at Canterbury this summer, thanks to the Hundred the ECB's decision to downgrade the Royal London Cup to a second-rate tournament and Kent's decision to play all games at Beckenham. He's bang into football and could easily be lost to the game. He's fromt a similar background to a lot of the current successful England team and I would suggest is the future of England cricket rather than these new city-only fans who have previously shown no interest in cricket.

Is this ill-conceived punt on getting new fans into the game from cities only (and no one actually knows who these fans are) really worth alientating and excluding current fans and risking kids wgo would readily get into the game losing interest due to lack of exposure to seeing cricket in the flesh?
The absolute best comments in this thread about the 100 travesty of cricket.

I'm going to sit down and try to put together an EFL equivalent to the cricket 100.
 

ThreeSixes

Vital 1st Team Regular
Surely by your argument re the Hundred in getting new people involve in cricket, Kent should be focusing less on the West and focusing more on areas where they generate less interest and fewer players and fans? Medway probably being the best example....
All fair comments, but don't you need to see how The Hundred does before you can decide whether or not it was "needed"?

I also don't think you can use England v Pakistan as an example, that's an international match. I would guess the powers that be are seeing how many Pakistanis and Indians are going to international games in the UK, and are wondering how they can get them through the turnstiles at other times?
 

SteveTreacle

Vital Squad Member
It's not being replaced though.
It's been pushed out from the summer holidays and the finals day shoehorned to late September meaning, as per my comment above, it's difficult for those of us who don't live in a big city to get our kids to matches. Doesn't strike me as very inclusive, which is ironic as the ECB bang on about inclusiveness in pretty every other sentence they right!
 

SteveTreacle

Vital Squad Member
All fair comments, but don't you need to see how The Hundred does before you can decide whether or not it was "needed"?

I also don't think you can use England v Pakistan as an example, that's an international match. I would guess the powers that be are seeing how many Pakistanis and Indians are going to international games in the UK, and are wondering how they can get them through the turnstiles at other times?
A lot of the damage has already been done, even before the tournament starts so there's no need to see it in action. The T20 has been pushed out of the prime summer holiday period meaning, as per my example, there is pretty much no cricket in Canterbury for the whole summer holidays, with the only first class in Kent cricket being the now second rate Royal London 50 over tournament in Beckenham. That brings me to the fact that, two years ago we won the 50 over World Cup and thanks to the Hundred we have no competitive 50 over competition. Add to that that the Hundred is exclusionist and only available to those in big cities (and that ain't going to change when it actually happens), there is a lot already crystallised that is bad and damaging for cricket.

From the cricket I go to it is fairly reflective of society. Of course county four day games played during the working day are full of old people as they're retired and able to attend. However, T20 games at Canterbury, for example, have loads of kids there and lots of female fans. Of course, there aren't a huge amount of ethnic minorities, but that's because not a lot of minorities live in Canterbury, Taunton etc. However, go to a match at the Oval, Lord's and Trent Bridge and you'll see a lot of BAME people there and very much reflective of the local area. It seems that principle is one of many things being held against counties based in rural areas and small towns/cities. The Hundrd seems to be a lot about image and effect over substance, with a smattering of political correctness and unnecessary dumbing down of cricket, which is pretty accessible and really not that complicated.
 

ThreeSixes

Vital 1st Team Regular
However, T20 games at Canterbury, for example, have loads of kids there and lots of female fans. Of course, there aren't a huge amount of ethnic minorities, but that's because not a lot of minorities live in Canterbury, Taunton etc. However, go to a match at the Oval, Lord's and Trent Bridge and you'll see a lot of BAME people there and very much reflective of the local area. It seems that principle is one of many things being held against counties based in rural areas and small towns/cities. The Hundrd seems to be a lot about image and effect over substance, with a smattering of political correctness and unnecessary dumbing down of cricket, which is pretty accessible and really not that complicated.
Yes, but...

Before T20 there wasn't T20, was there?

You may be right, but does someone that lives in Birmingham identify with Warwickshire or someone that lives in London identify with whatever county is supposed to represent London? The exclusionist accusation levelled against The Hundred can also be levelled at County Cricket
 

SteveTreacle

Vital Squad Member
Yes, but...

Before T20 there wasn't T20, was there?

You may be right, but does someone that lives in Birmingham identify with Warwickshire or someone that lives in London identify with whatever county is supposed to represent London? The exclusionist accusation levelled against The Hundred can also be levelled at County Cricket
There's always been T20 effectively. It's the game played at children's level and at a lot of local Sunday leagues (even before it was brough in in about 2005 at the top level). The big difference is the counties just started playing the shorter format, so the current fans could just adapt and pick it up, so no one was left out. And, yes, people from Birmingham definitely follow and support Warwickshire (despite the county's gimicky attempt to rebrand their white ball team as "Birmingham" even before the Hundred); I think the same runs for Surrey and Middlesex - they are based in South and North London and very much supported by Londoners, in addtion to those extending out in their more rural counties.
 
There's always been T20 effectively. It's the game played at children's level and at a lot of local Sunday leagues (even before it was brough in in about 2005 at the top level). The big difference is the counties just started playing the shorter format, so the current fans could just adapt and pick it up, so no one was left out. And, yes, people from Birmingham definitely follow and support Warwickshire (despite the county's gimicky attempt to rebrand their white ball team as "Birmingham" even before the Hundred); I think the same runs for Surrey and Middlesex - they are based in South and North London and very much supported by Londoners, in addtion to those extending out in their more rural counties.
I was playing Gillingham Ashes 20 over cricket in the 80s. It’s certainly not a new concept
 

Detritus

Vital Squad Member
Maidstone - a traditional venue in the heart of the county and the closest ground to Medway, so where I saw my first county cricket and got the buzz to go to lives matches,
I went to Maidstone Grammar School in the 70's. Used to finish school then nip across the road where we'd be allowed in for free to watch the likes of Colin Cowdrey, Derek Underwood, Alan Knott et al.
 

ramager

Vital Youth Team
The difference between the Counties you quote is that no other County lays claim to any of those Cities. London is basically the home of Slurrey and Middlesex. The decision to play at Beckenham is purely financial.

The ridiculous thing is that Kent often play Slurrey there effectively giving Surrey an extra home game.

At the back of my mind I think that the ground at Beckenham is actually owned by Kent c.c.c. and given the national shortage of housing suggest that development permission should be sought. A successful application would secure the future of the County Cricket Club for many years. Alternatively it could be turned into a large "Traveller" site, although perhaps the London Borough of London is exempt from the legal requirement placed on other Counties to provide a minimum number of such sites?
Pretty sure Kent just lease the Beckenham ground. If they owned it it would have been sold off by now - in fact I think a portion of it was converted to housing a few years ago
 

GillsBluenose

Vital 1st Team Regular
Pretty sure Kent just lease the Beckenham ground. If they owned it it would have been sold off by now - in fact I think a portion of it was converted to housing a few years ago
When I worked for Lloyds Bank, the area where the cricket is played was part of their National Sports ground. I played inter branch 6-a-side football as well as hockey there.

Nat West also had a similar sports ground just over the road.

Considering we had branches throughout the land, I always thought it was a bit unfair that it was not more central.

The Bank sold it off over 20 years ago, in one of their many cost cutting exercises, but I am pretty sure that they owned the freehold until then.
 

MedwayModernist

Vital Squad Member
When I worked for Lloyds Bank, the area where the cricket is played was part of their National Sports ground. I played inter branch 6-a-side football as well as hockey there.

Nat West also had a similar sports ground just over the road.

Considering we had branches throughout the land, I always thought it was a bit unfair that it was not more central.

The Bank sold it off over 20 years ago, in one of their many cost cutting exercises, but I am pretty sure that they owned the freehold until then.
HSBC still have a sports site down that way in New Beckenham, think they're the last of the banks to have it this way.

I know the Bank of England used to have a similar facility in the South West.

The Met Police also have a ground nearby.

I expect it would simply be that the Beckenham area was the closest to central London you could get to where there was any greenspace to purchase for sports.
 

ThreeSixes

Vital 1st Team Regular
First to admit i`m not a cricket purist or big fan of the game. But, really enjoyed watching the Hundred game on TV last evening. Entertaining stuff.
Yep me too, but tonight is going to be more important - the man's game. There will need to be more fans and more runs for it to be a longer term success. It is something that you can dip in and out of in a evening, on BBC, when there is no football on