Udal warning over county format

Source - bbc.co.uk

England spinner Shaun Udal fears Twenty20 cricket could be pushing the County Championship to the sidelines.

England spinner Shaun Udal fears Twenty20 cricket could be pushing the County Championship to the sidelines.

"I know the Twenty20 has been a massive success but I think it was more of a success when there were a couple less games," Udal told BBC Sport.

"The Championship is starting far too early in April and finishing later in September, all because they want to get three weeks of Twenty20 cricket in.

"That is the best time to play the Championship because of the weather."

The England and Wales Cricket Board has revised the format of the county season for 2006, with the 50-over C&G Trophy including a group stage played in the first half of the season.

Twenty20 takes up the middle of the year with a 40-over competition replacing the old Totesport League format in August and September.

Udal, whose Hampshire side finished second in the Championship last season, described the four-day game as "the bread and butter, the one you want to win."

He added: "I enjoy the Twenty20 [games] and they're great fun but whether that time could be used a bit more for rest I don't know.

"There is a lot of cricket played and not enough time for rest, but that has been said for years."

Udal's England team-mate Ian Bell also believes there are too many games, and suggested merging the 40-over competition with the C&G Trophy.

"Possibly you could have a one-day league where the top four play in the semi-finals for a Lord's final," he told BBC Sport.

"That would free up a little more time for scheduling."
Cricket tickets
England vs India tickets
England vs Sri Lanka tickets
Twenty20 finals day tickets
Buy or sell tickets on Seatwave
Europe's No1 Ticket Exchange
T20, Twenty20 and Twenty20 Cup are registered trade marks of the England and Wales Cricket Board Limited (the ECB).
Products and services on this website are not offered in connection with, or with the endorsement of the ECB