Moeen Ali backs Ollie Robinson after ban for historic tweets, commends ECB for 'good' punishment
5 July 2021
England's debacle in Test cricket has been pretty rapid. The side, who once used to be a formidable unit in the longest format of the game, now finds itself in a bleak situation.
As the former cricketers and cricket pundits voice out their opinions about England's horrid show in ongoing Ashes series, there are a few who have been raising meaningful suggestions to revive English red-ball cricket.
Former England cricketer, Kevin Pietersen has called for the franchise red-ball competition modelled on 'The Hundred'. Pointing towards the lack of intensity in the Country Championship, Pietersen opined that the franchise competition for red-ball cricket will bring back the interests of the players into the format.
"The best players don't want to play in it, so young English players aren't learning from other greats like I did. Batters are being dismissed by average bowlers on poor wickets and the whole thing is spiralling," Pietersen wrote in his column for Betway.
"When I first started playing first-class cricket in England, the intensity of a County Championship match was like a Test match. It was as tough as anything. I learned my trade against some of the greatest players in the world every week.
"When I first started playing first-class cricket in England, the intensity of a County Championship match was like a Test match. It was as tough as anything. I learned my trade against some of the greatest players in the world every week," Pietersen added.
Terming 'The Hundred as a 'competition with value', Pietersen advocated for a similar style of the domestic tournament to be played with red-ball.
"In the Hundred, the ECB have actually produced a competition with some sort of value. They now need to introduce a similar franchise competition for red-ball cricket, whereby the best play against the best every single week. They would make money available to attract some of the best overseas players in the world and the top English players would benefit from playing alongside them.
"It would be a marketable, exciting competition, which would drive improvement in the standard and get people back through the gates for long-form cricket. We need to produce lucrative, high-quality, interesting competitions that reward and improve the best players. This could be one. This Ashes defeat needn't be a total failure if they [the ECB] can use it to implement proper change for the Test side," Pietersen mentioned.
Ever since England lost the Ashes to Australia, the talks around the County Championship are growing day by day. As the quality of players did not meet the expectations of international cricket, figures within the English camp did mince their words, with Joe Root and James Anderson particularly indicating towards low standards of the County Championship.