ECB Rush out New Plans
Byline: DAVID FACEY
TWO new proposals aimed at revolutionising the county championship have been hastily put together as Lord's finally conceded yesterday that Lord MacLaurin's baffling Raising the Standard blueprint is likely to be rejected next week.
The two options from the English Cricket Board's think-tank are a two-division championship with promotion and relegation and an extension to the present format to include a Super Cup, featuring playoffs within the top eight.
Lord MacLaurin's original plan was for a championship split into three conferences. The programme of fixtures built into that was condmened for being too complex and failing to tackle the basic problem of how to make the first-class game more competitive.
That proposal will still be put to Monday's policy-shaping meeting of the 18 counties, along with the new suggestions. A fourth option would be to leave the competition untouched, although no-one seriously believes that will happen as the demand for change reaches a climax.
Tim Lamb, the ECB's chief executive, admitted that the new plans had been drawn up because there seemed to be little support for Lord MacLaurin's proposal, which was unveiled amid loud fanfares on August 5. …