What the hell is Pro 40 cricket?
The next phase of the English domestic cricket season gets under way tomorrow, with the start of the Pro 40 league. But it seems finding good information on what it’s all about is a task in itself. Even on the ECB website, the masterminds behind the league, it’s difficult to find a good definition of the format, except that NatWest will be the official sponsors.
So the vital information that I can gleam is this:
- Standard league set up – two divisions with promotion and relegation for top and bottom two teams from each division
- Teams in third place from top and bottom will feature in a play off at the end of the season
- 40 over cricket, departing from 2005’s 45 over set up
- Essentially the same as the old Sunday league set up
- Essex Eagles are defending champions
- County teams involved have silly nicknames and will wear pyjamas, not whites
- Scotland/Ireland won’t play in it
- The name DOES suggest that it’s for 40 year olds and over, even though it’ll be for 1st-string county sides
- The play off at the end of the season marks the end of the domestic season
The two divisions are made up of:
- Durham Dynamos
- Essex Eagles
- Glamorgan Dragons
- Lancashire Lightning
- Middlesex Crusaders
- Northamptonshire Steelbacks
- Nottinghamshire Outlaws
- Sussex Sharks
- Warwickshire Bears
- Derbyshire Phantoms
- Kent Spitfires
- Gloucestershire Gladiators
- Hampshire Hawks
- Leicestershire Foxes
- Somerset Sabres
- Surrey Brown Caps
- Worcestershire Royals
- Yorkshire Phoenix
And that’s moreorless it. As far as I can tell, it’s yet more fodder for the “we play too much Cricket” voices, and won’t do a lot to foster improvements to the national One Day set up. Time will tell!
Mark Mitchener from the BBC obviously reads this blog, because would you Adam and Eve, they’ve posted a nice little guide to Pro 40 cricket with comments from all the stars. Enjoy.