Chris Rogers: English franchise cricket would be 'a real win'

Sydney Thunder beat Kevin Pietersen's Melbourne Stars in Saturday night's final at the MCG
Sydney Thunder, skippered by Mike Hussey, beat Kevin Pietersen's Melbourne Stars in the final at the MCG

New Somerset skipper Chris Rogers says English cricket would benefit from following Australia's lead by having big city franchise Twenty20 teams.

The former Australia Test opener, who has played T20 cricket for four English county teams, has not played the short form of the game in over three years.

But after watching Sydney Thunder win the Big Bash, the 38-year-old is now in no doubt England should follow suit.

"You only have to look at the success in Australia," he told BBC Sport.

"And it's not just seeing it from a spectator point of view. The players love it. If we can create a little of that it will be a real win for cricket in England."

Twenty20 cricket in England has been played under the traditional 18-county format since its inception in 2003.

However, a £40m offer has been reportedly been made to the England & Wales Cricket Board to televise a restructured franchise competition from 2017 onwards.

Despite the commercial success of the Big Bash, as well as the Indian Premier League, there remains opposition from within the English first-class counties, half of whom do not play at Test match venues, including Somerset.

"I've always been a bit of a traditionalist, it's hard not to when you play the way I play," said Rogers, renowned as a relatively slow-scoring first-class cricket specialist.

"But I think it will go that way. It has to, but the counties have to be open to it. You still have to sustain four-day cricket and Test cricket. But surely the success of the Big Bash here will be opening a few of their eyes."

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers averages almost 50 in first-class cricket, but only 17 in T20 matches

Sydney-born Rogers announced his retirement from Test cricket prior to last summer's Ashes series, but last October agreed to join his fifth English first-class county, having previously played for Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northants and Middlesex.

He was then appointed Somerset captain when Marcus Trescothick stood down earlier this week.

Rogers first came to England at the age of 24 when he played for Exeter in the Devon Cricket League Premier Division in 2002, before appearing for Shropshire side Wellington in the Birmingham League the following summer, prior to joining Derbyshire in 2004.

What's in a name?

Glamorgan played in county cricket's T20 competition as the Welsh Dragons in 2012 and Warwickshire rebranded as the Birmingham Bears for the 2014 season, backed by financial support from their local city council.

The Bears enjoyed almost overnight success, winning the competition at Edgbaston in 2014, then following that up by reaching Finals Day again on their own ground in 2015.

Figures released by the club last week reveal that, in 2015, T20 cricket showed an increase in revenue for the Bears of 43 per cent and 86 per cent in attendances at Edgbaston.

Former Australia Test opener Chris Rogers was talking to Sportsworld on the BBC World Service following the Big Bash final.

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