Players opposed to Morgan Report
A survey conducted by the Professional Cricketers' Association has revealed players are strongly opposed to the recommendations of the Morgan Report.
The proposals of former England and Wales Cricket Board chairman and ICC president David Morgan include a reduction from 16 to 14 championship matches a season, 'appointment to view' Twenty20 fixtures throughout the season and a return to 50-over cricket in place of the current 40-over one-day format.
The PCA have reported little appetite for those alterations among their members, with players almost showing almost entirely different priorities. Responses indicated a clear preference for the retention of a 16-match championship season, with 91% of players ranking the four-day game as their priority.
Additionally, there is significant scepticism about the benefits of playing Twenty20 matches on nominated days throughout the campaign.
Instead, players appear to favour retaining - or tightening - the current system whereby the Friends Life t20 is contested in a compact block during which sides can effectively run a distinct Twenty20 squad, complete with high-profile overseas signings.
In total 77% of responders favoured playing the competition in one block of consecutive fixtures.
The PCA's findings, based on the replies of 277 current professionals, read: "The PCA has previously expressed a number of reservations about the domestic structure proposed for 2014 by the Morgan Review - not least of which was that despite the widespread consultation which has been claimed, at most a handful of current players were asked their views.
"The research has added further weight to the strong reservations we have previously expressed about the structure recommended by the Morgan review - most critically, the compromises it proposes to the integrity of the LV= County Championship, our most important competition."
Findings were less clear-cut on the subject of one-day cricket, with 51% favouring the current 40-over format and 49% backing a switch to 50 overs, mirroring that of ODI cricket. The report was unequivocal in its dissatisfaction with the competition in its current format, though.
"The CB40 (or 50) competition needs to be subject to radical reappraisal. The current competition does not work well from either a financial or a cricketing perspective - and the competition should be re-designed, with a focus on quality rather than quantity, and with the main purpose of providing players with the skills and experience needed to help England win World Cups," the report read.