Glamorgan chief Hugh Morris restates support for city-based T20

Swalec Stadium
Hugh Morris wants to stage city Twenty20 matches at the Swalec Stadium in Cardiff

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris says plans for a city-based Twenty20 cricket tournament should go ahead, despite a delay.

The proposed change has been put off until at least 2020 because of broadcast contracts.

"The growth and development of the game in Wales could be driven by this new competition," he said.

The streamlined tournament would be in addition to the current T20 Blast which involves county teams.

The proposal has provoked controversy, with counties including Surrey and Yorkshire reluctant to change their branding.

Sussex and Kent, along with Surrey, were understood to be opponents of the plans at the most recent vote in September 2016.

But Glamorgan boss Morris believes the new event would attract big crowds to Test match grounds such as the SSE Swalec Stadium in Cardiff, and benefit all the counties financially.

"There are one or two hurdles, but I firmly believe it's the way to go," said the former England Test batsman.

"Good progress has been made but by the early part of the summer, some critical decisions have to be made by the 18 first-class counties.

"I really hope they embrace the idea of city-based teams, with people being able to see the best players in the world in our domestic programme."

All 18 counties would stand to receive an extra £1m, with host counties for the eight-team event getting around £300,000 more.

Morris hopes that Cardiff would get a stand-alone franchise rather than sharing with Bristol, with Gloucestershire also keen to be involved.

"We're going to fight really hard," he added.

"We are the 'Wales' in the 'England and Wales Cricket Board'.

Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson leave the field at the end of the first Ashes Test match played in Cardiff in 2009
A last-wicket partnership between Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson earned England a draw in the first-ever Ashes Test played in Cardiff in 2009

"We have over three million people in the country and we feel there are audiences not engaged with cricket we can entice into the game."

Glamorgan are expected to reveal a loss for 2016, though Morris says the figures are "broadly in line" with budget plans.

The county hopes to return to profit in 2017, with four matches in the ICC Champions Trophy matches being played in Cardiff - including one of the semi-finals.

England will also play a T20 international against South Africa in Cardiff.

Bidding for more Tests

The Welsh county has to bid to stage international cricket from 2020 to 2024, with Morris hoping to secure a third Ashes Test between England and Australia.

"The two Ashes Test matches we've held here have been great successes, so we'll see what the ECB has on offer," he said.

"We want to hold the biggest events, we've done it successfully in the past and we fully intend to do so in the future."

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