Fraser: Morgan Review will undermine England Test side

ENGLAND’S world-beating Test team will suffer if radical plans to reform the county game are passed by governing body the ECB, fears Middlesex chief Angus Fraser.

The headline recommendation from the Morgan Review, which the ECB will discuss today, is a reduction in the number of matches in the County Championship, while keeping a two-division format comprised of nine teams each. It is widely accepted that four-day cricket will suffer at the expense of ensuring Twenty20 competition retains as many as 14 group matches, and Fraser believes it will impact adversely on the calibre of players county cricket will provide for the Test side.

“There are large sections of the report that concern and worry me as an advocate of four-day cricket,” Fraser, managing director of cricket at Middlesex, told City A.M.

“Look at where the England team is right now at No1 in the world – we must have been doing something right at county level for the last few years. I don’t ever want to see [us] reducing the amount of county championship matches. We want to enhance the quality of the competition but a county should look to provide players for the Test team.

“You get the distinct impression many of the recommendations are made with money rather than what’s best for the game in mind – and that can never be a good thing. Prolonging the Twenty20 season might help some counties balance the books, but that’s certainly not us at Middlesex.”