'Compelling' case for Cardiff team in new T20 cup, says Hugh Morris

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Wales Sport
Hugh Morris
Hugh Morris is a former chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris believes Cardiff is ideally placed to be one of eight city sides hosting matches in a new Twenty20 tournament.

The new competition planned by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is set to start in 2020.

Glamorgan became the first county to launch its bid at the Seneddexternal-link in Cardiff Bay on Thursday, and could face competition from Bristol.

"We believe Cardiff has a compelling case," Morris told BBC Wales Sport.

The Welsh club is seeking support for its bid from Cardiff council and the Welsh Government.

Morris continued: "Cardiff is one of the greatest sporting capitals in the UK and has hosted some of the world's major sports events.

"We have a great stadium that has been able to deliver two Ashes tests.

"We have got a great city with a huge sporting tradition and are used to working with a Team Wales approach and putting on a great show."

What's in a name?

There have been no details yet about where the city franchises will be issued, with Morris not being drawn on a possible name or whether Cardiff is in direct competition with Bristol.

"We have had no criteria in terms of venue selection, that will come in the coming months," added Morris.

"The name is an important detail but something that needs to ironed out."

A final decision on the eight cities and next round of international matches for 2020-2024 is expected towards the end of the year.

Jacques Rudolph
Glamorgan captain Jacques Rudolph is in favour of the new T20 tournament

Need for change

After lengthy negotiations, the ECB presented the detailed overview of its proposals for the new competition this week, with Essex only emerging publicly so far as a dissenting voice.

"This had to happen [for the future of county cricket]," said Morris.

"Many counties have struggled, ourselves included.

"It has been a long process but there are lots of different stakeholders to consider.

"We have reached a place where pretty much everyone is happy. This is going to be an important cog in the cricket wheel.

"There might one or two who are less comfortable but the consensus is heading in the right direction."

Dwindling numbers

Morris also pointed to the declining numbers of cricketers in England and Wales as a reason for the competition's introduction.

"We have seen in India and Australia domestic T20 cricket has been hugely successful not just financially but also growing the game," added Morris.

"There have been some alarming statistics at the participation rates here.

"This is a chance to restore cricket as the national summer sport. We have dropped off the radar and need to get back there."

Morris insisted Glamorgan's financial future was not dependent on being chosen as one of the host cities but recognised the benefits.

"The ECB have said each of the 18 first-class counties is going to get £1.3m whatever, that is significant funding," said Morris.

"The attraction is being one of the hosts.

"This tournament will be big business with real global profile which will be beamed around the world."

The 18 counties will still run alongside the new tournament in the existing domestic competitions.

What is changing?

  • Eight new teams playing 36 games over a 38-day summer window, with four home games per team
  • All games televised, with significant free-to-air exposure
  • No scheduling overlap with the existing T20 Blast competition
  • An Indian Premier League-style play-off system to give more incentive for finishing higher up the league
  • A players' draft, with squads of 15 including three overseas players
  • Counties guaranteed £1.3m.

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