Leicestershire chief executive Sean Jarvis says that English cricket’s high-performance review would be a “nail in the coffin” for the Foxes and other counties if it is voted through.
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s long-awaited, half-leaked proposals, led by ex-England captain Sir Andrew Strauss, were published this week.
They intend to trim County Championship cricket from 14 to 10 games per season.
“I urge them to go back to the drawing board for a rethink,” said Jarvis.
“This structure threatens the whole future of the County Championship. It really does put a potential nail in a coffin.
“That is something we will not vote for,” he told BBC Radio Leicester.
“We are going to protect our members. That’s a near 30% reduction in matchdays. It equates to losing £250,000 in loss of income. Such a huge reduction we can’t allow that to happen.
“Their focus on creating the right environment for players and coaches going forward is something we very much support, and a plan that we believe could actually go further.
“But this reduction is income it is going to threaten our survival as a first-class county. And it’s an impact that will be shared by a few other counties.”
After putting out a statement on Leicestershire’s own website on Friday, following Sussex chair Jon Filby’s rejection of the proposals the day before, Jarvis added: “I’ve already had a lot of texts from other counties supporting me and saying ‘we agree with you’.”
One of the ECB’s proposals in their statement, ironically released on the day the 2022 County Championship title race was settledwas to clear the slate completely in the prime month of August, when their main flagship competition, The Hundred, is played.
In 2022, it was up against the One-Day Cup, but, while The Hundred was again played out to packed crowds, the county game remained well supported too, peaking with a 9,000 attendance for Saturday’s Kent-Lancashire final.
Under the new ECB proposals, which would need to be agreed by two-thirds of counties to go through, there would be no county cricket at all in August.
“Let the red-ball players carry on playing during August,” said Jarvis. “We don’t have the Hundred games here, or Test matches. It’s not just not fair for the counties like ourselves.”
Jarvis worked at Premier League and Championship level as commercial director of football club Huddersfield Town, before moving to Leicester in June 2020, roof Karen Rothery succeeds as CEOhaving been used as a “commercial strategist” on the board at Grace Road for the previous 12 months.