Media Release From the BBC Sport Website click
The Minor Counties are to change their name after 124 years of competitive cricket spanning three centuries.
From 2020, the rejigged competition’s many changes will include becoming the National Counties Cricket Association.
There will be slightly less three-day cricket, but there will be automatic promotion and relegation within the current Western and Eastern Divisions.
The 10-team divisions will split into two groups of five in a series of changes to the county game at its second tier.
It will also mean a drop in three-day matches from six to four per season while offering an increase in Twenty20 games.
“It will make it far more competitive,” Minor Counties Cricket Association chairman Nick Archer told BBC Sport.
“There’ll be no hiding place. We’ll have the best sides playing the best sides.
“In the past, there have been occasions when, due to the way the fixtures are set up, with only six games to be played in a 10-team league, you can finish top of the league maybe not having played the three best other sides.
“Now, with more availability of players too, due to there being fewer games, the best team will win it.”
There are also plans – still being finalised – to bring back games against first-class sides.
If approved, it would mean a chance for every National Counties side to play against first-class opposition for the first time since Minor Counties sides were excluded from English cricket’s premier one-day competition in 2006.
The changes were also officially approved at a meeting in London on Monday with the England and Wales Cricket Board, who have now also agreed to the name change, which still needs to be officially rubber-stamped at the Minor Counties’ next meeting.
But discussions between the Minor Counties Cricket Association and the ECB have been taking place for more than a year about the future structure and funding of Minor Counties cricket – and the changes first proposed by a review group led by former Staffordshire opening batsman Archer were initially approved at a meeting at Edgbaston on 31 October.
“We’d had a good steer that this would all be approved,” said Archer. “But, until you see it all agreed, it’s not certain, so there is a feeling of relief. We knew the game had to change.
“As to the name change, it has long been felt that Minor Counties seemed a pejorative term. And we should now be called from 2020 the National Counties Cricket Association.
“Other names were suggested but made us sound a second-rate organisation and this has now been approved by the ECB.”
— Chris Travers (@ChrisTravers07) January 16, 2019