ANI Photo | County Championship 2023: Fewer points to be awarded for draws to encourage attacking cricket

Fewer points will be awarded for draws in the upcoming County Championship 2023 to encourage the style of attacking cricket which changed the fortunes of England’s senior men’s national team, with sides earning only five points as compared to eight previously.
The system of batting bonus points has also been amended and rewards quick run-scoring. The first batting bonus will be obtained by scoring 250, instead of 200 as earlier, across the first 110 overs of the first innings. Sides will have to score in excess of four runs an over to reach new mark of 450 runs to gain the full five points.
Free and quick scoring has been key in transforming England’s fortunes under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, who have won nine of their 10 Tests ahead of the two-match series in New Zealand starting from February 16.
Stokes did not have a direct influence on changes in rule-book but he was a part of meetings with county directors back in January, alongside ECB managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key and performance director Mo Bobat.
ECB head of cricket operations Alan Fordham said as quoted by Sky Sports: “We are looking to achieve an encouragement for teams to bat long on well-prepared surfaces in the first innings and pushing games into day four but providing the added incentive to win games.”
“Ultimately, teams should be out there to win. It is a delicate balance. First-innings bonus points continue to be seen as essential with an incentive to go out and win. Is scoring 200 runs in a four-day game a level where you should be getting points? No. So let us move that up a bit. And maxing out at 450 can only have a positive effect. Those were the drivers rather than a direct ‘Bazball’ influence,” added Fordham.
The amendments came following recommendations in the high-pefromance review and include the usage of Kookaburra ball in two rounds of games in June and July. It swings and seams less than a Dukes ball and is used commonly in the southern hemisphere, including Australia, where England is winless in their last 15 Tests, having lost 13 of them and drawn two.

The ball will be deployed in the county championship for June 25-28 and July 10-13 fixtures, which coincide with Ashes series. All 18 counties will be in action twice.
Counties have also received an upgrade of one overseas player in their roster at any time, with four. Though they will be able to field only two each in the county championship, ODI Cup and T20 Blast. The change aims to help sides have red-ball, white-ball specialists in their sides when Championship and Blast overlap.
Moving forward, the 2024 structure will be similar to that of 2023 after counties rejected proposals that called for a new six-team top-flight and ten-match season. These were suggested by Andrew Strauss led high-performance review.
Neil Snowball, the ECB’s managing director of county cricket, said: “The principles of finding a coherent schedule is still valid. There is no cliff edge between now and the start of the season.”
“There is no big decision still to be made. We are sticking with the volume of 2023, most likely roll through to 2024.”
“There are a couple of bits around promotion and relegation, we have those ongoing, but I don’t foresee anything dramatic happening.”
“Any changes to format and structure have to get the support of the counties,” concluded Neil. (ANI)

Subscribe to our Newsletter

ANI News Logo
About ANI


ANI is a leading multimedia news agency.


Speaks a lot about our batting depth: Sachin praises Axar-Shami stand in 1st Test against Australia

India to jointly organize 12th World Hindi Conference in Fiji