LONDON: England cricket chiefs have said there is “no silver bullet” for domestic first-class cricket following demands for substantial reforms after a dismal Ashes campaign. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison called for a red-ball “reset” to help Joe Root’s Test team, who recently slumped to a 4-0 series defeat in Australia The ECB announced its 2022 domestic fixtures on Thursday. There will be five rounds of four-day County Championship matches in June and July, compared with just three last year, as the competition returns to its regular two-division structure following two revamped seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the season will start on April 7, with four successive weeks of red-ball matches, and finish on September 29 ––– with no Championship fixtures at all in August, when the second edition of The Hundred will take precedence. Neil Snowball, the ECB’s managing director of county cricket, admitted the schedule was not ideal in striking a balance between the first-class and limited-over formats but said it was an improvement from last year.“We know there’s no silver bullet,” he said. “All of the different things that we need to consider have been talked about a lot ––– whether it’s what type of ball we use, what type of pitches we play on, the format of competitions. “It needs a comprehensive review. I think there’s a feeling that we haven’t got the balance right (between the formats) at the moment and that’s what we need to look at. “We need to get the first-class counties, the ECB, the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association) and the other stakeholders together and then work out a plan through this year hopefully so that we can start making some changes from 2023. But there’s absolute commitment to do that.”