For 124 years we have been known as the MCCA (Minor Counties Cricket Association). During this time, we have seen some truly talented cricketers play for their county, with many going on to play first class cricket. So why the name change?
The National Counties Cricket Association, (NCCA) is more than just a name change. Besides a name that better reflects the talents and importance of everyone involved at this level, the structure of games has undergone a transformation that will see less 3-day championship matches and more T20 and 50-over trophy games. An exciting time for spectators and aspiring cricketers' who might otherwise struggle to commit to the lengthier games.
The Championship, that still plays a key part in the playing calendar, is moving away from a ten-team league in the Eastern and Western divisions. There will now be 2 leagues of 5 in each division, with promotion and relegation, for the bottom side in Division 1 and top team in Division 2. This two-division approach will bring more competition ensuring the top teams are playing against each other, with the winners of Division 1 in each region playing the in the Championship Final.
The One Day Trophy and T20 Competition will both be played in a group format with 5 teams across 4 groups. The winners of each of the 4 T20 groups will take part in the T20 Finals day and the top 2 teams across the 4 One Day groups will progress on to a knock out stage with quarter finals, semi-finals and ultimately the One Day Final.
This new structure will provide greater opportunities for younger players to get involved and represent their county. New governance introduced this year requires each county to play 8 players under the age of 25 and 8 players that are 'Home Grown'. This places greater focus on the development of talented local cricketers. We have also worked hard to minimise clashes with first-class cricket to enable our talented young NCCA players to seize openings within the first-class county pathway.
With so many exciting changes we feel disappointed that the cricket season has not started as hoped, however we are sending our thoughts to those who have been affected by the coronavirus and would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe time during this period. We feel passionate as ever to support and inspire the cricket community by keeping you posted with our favourite #CricketAtHome clips, introducing you to some of our county's best players and unsung heroes, to keep you motivated and improving your game. Please check us out here (web link) and give us a follow ...
We would love to see your very own isolation training and #CricketAtHome drills so please do tag us @NCCA.uk and together, lets inspire others and share our love of English cricket.