MX23RW : Saturday, October 31 03:39:59| >> :600:1258022:1258022:

Somerset skipper Tom Abell hails County Championship as best in the world

Somerset skipper Tom Abell hails County Championship as best in the world
© Reuters
The format of next season's first-class competition is up for grabs.

Somerset captain Tom Abell believes the County Championship is “the best first-class competition in the world” and would be wary of a domestic restructure building on this year’s Bob Willis Trophy.

Abell’s side finished runners-up in the tournament, edged out on first-innings runs after drawing a Lord’s final with Essex, the culmination of a truncated campaign.

Lockdown restrictions at the start of summer meant a traditional four-day calendar would not be possible, with the two-division structure replaced by three regional groups as a temporary measure.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is looking at tinkering with the format again in 2021, in anticipation of further disruption, with a tiered conference system and another showpiece decider understood to be on the cards.

Abell, speaking after his side’s near miss, appeared cool on that idea.

“I’m a big advocate of the County Championship. I think it’s a great competition and I feel we have the best first-class competition in the world,” he said.

“Certainly we should harness that. I feel the best team will always win the championship in that format.

“That’s not to say the best team hasn’t won it this year and in current circumstances I feel a Lord’s showpiece was a very special event and a privilege to be involved in. I guess I’m in support of promotion and relegation. I favour the County Championship.”

Essex skipper Tom Westley, who lifted the Bob Willis Trophy for what could be its only outing, was more open to alterations.

  • South Group - Essex (90pts)
  • Central Group - Somerset (97pts)
  • North Group - Yorkshire (87pts)

But he too had one important proviso: any conference blueprint must be graded to ensure as many best-versus-best games as possible.

“I’m not against a three-tier system. It’s proved that it’s worked well as a number, but there should be an element of meritocracy,” he said.

“The top teams should be in the top division, that’s why we play the game. At the start of my career I played a lot of cricket in Division Two with aspirations of Division One.

“What has been fitting about this year is that the best two teams have played the five-day final at Lord’s; that’s a good reflection on the two best teams in the country.”

ID:416275:cQx

Click here for more stories about Tom Abell

Click here for more stories about Essex

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Read more about Tom Abell Cricket

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Cup
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Argentine Primera Division
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
J1 League

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!