Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen on Saturday (July 31) suggested ECB to establish a franchise-based red-ball tournament to provide the much-needed impetus in the traditional format in England.
Pietersen’s comments come in the wake of the success of the ongoing inaugural edition of The Hundred – a 100-ball tournament which is ECB’s brainchild.
He also pointed out that ECB has prioritized white-ball cricket since 2015 and the results are there for everyone to see.
While England reached the final and semi-final of T20 World Cup 2016 and Champions Trophy 2017, they went on to clinch the ODI World Cup in 2019.
However, England’s Test performances have gone down over the years. They failed to retain the Ashes at home two years back and recently lost the home Test series to New Zealand.
Taking to Twitter, Pietersen wrote: “The ECB decided in 2015 to prioritise white ball cricket. They won the WC & now have a franchise tournament. Now is the time to franchise red ball cricket. Strengthen all the teams. Good players survive, others don’t. Test cricket will die if they don’t!”
According to Pietersen, some counties offer very little to the national side in terms of quality players and they should be clubbed together into a franchise-type team.
“By franchising red ball county cricket, I mean combining 3/4 counties together, like The (Hundred). Play 8-10 four day games a summer. The best players survive. There’s way too many average players calling themselves 1st class cricketers! That’s how you create red ball depth!,” he further tweeted.
Kevin Pietersen hoped that ECB will listen to him one day and he also urged the governing body to not “KILL” Test cricket in the country.
“And maybe one day the ECB will listen to me. I’ve called for franchise cricket for 10yrs in this country and check the viewing numbers on TV now - they’re UNREAL! Don’t KILL Test Cricket, @englandcricket! JUST DON’T!”