Lancashire members are trying to force a vote against cuts to the County Championship schedule

Lancashire members want to force a vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting to prevent the club from backing a reduction in the County Championship program – unless they give their consent – as opposition to downsizing fixtures mounts.

The Lancashire Action Group (LAG) has urged the club to guarantee Daniel Gidney, the chief executive, will “defend first-class play” in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board. The future of the domestic game will be discussed as part of the ECB’s High Performance Review, chaired by Andrew Strauss.

Each top-flight district currently plays 14 championship games per season, but a reduction to 10 or 12 games has been discussed.

In response to these concerns, the LAG claims it has collected enough signatures from members – more than 600 so far – to force an extraordinary general meeting. The group say they intend to present the signatures to the club on Wednesday after Lancashire played Worcestershire in a Royal London One-Day Cup game.

It is understood that the club bylaws require that a special general meeting be held within 28 days of receipt of the letter. The last such extraordinary general meeting in Lancashire was 57 years ago, in 1965.

The signatories claim: “The club’s management will oppose a reduction in the number of first-class games for the coming year, unless they have the prior approval of the members of a further extraordinary general meeting.”

The LAG also makes three further demands on the association. First, that it will “fully update the membership and respond to clarification questions on the ongoing discussions between the districts and the ECB on the possible options to change the schedule or structure of domestic cricket”.

Second, that the meeting will give Lancashire members the opportunity to “understand in detail the views of club management and the board on the merits of the various options being considered”.

Third, that Lancashire will “allow Members attending the meeting to explain their priorities if changes to the timetable/structure are to be made”.

Representatives from all 18 top-tier districts met with the ECB last Wednesday to update on the current status of the review and future domestic schedule. No decisions on the review have yet been made, but a reduction in County Cricket’s overall volume is likely to be recommended.

Lancashire has committed to holding member forums not just on Wednesday but again in September to discuss the 2023 timeline and says they plan to consult with members after receiving formal proposals from the ECB. The club has distanced itself from the LAG, whose members have been accused of misogyny by some.

Fifteen of the 18 counties are owned by members that could potentially pose a major obstacle to counties agreeing to the reforms advocated by the review.

In a statement from the club on the proposed changes last week, Lancashire said: “The decision, which will be taken later in the year and ultimately voted by the top-flight boroughs, will not be a commercial decision. Rather, it will be based on the development and well-being of our players, who must always be at the fore during this process.”

Leave a Comment