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Home   Canterbury   Sport   Article

Kent Cricket chief executive Jamie Clifford rubbishes Lord MacLaurin's suggestion that Kent could merge with Sussex to help the England team

16 January 2014
by Alex Hoad

Jamie Clifford

Jamie Clifford

Chief executive Jamie Clifford has laughed off a suggestion from former ECB chairman Lord MacLaurin that Kent should merge with Sussex for the good of the England team.

Speaking in the wake of England’s 5-0 Ashes reverse Down Under, Lord MacLaurin – who was ECB chairman from 1997 to 2002 – suggested reducing the number of county sides from 18 to 12.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme, he said: “It would do no harm at all to actually look at the structure of cricket going forward and see where we come to

“Do 18 first-class counties produce the Test cricketers we need for the future? I think if you started from now, 12 first-class counties ... would be a far better producer of Test cricketers than 18 first-class counties, some are playing pretty average cricket.”

MacLaurin suggested that Northamptonshire might merge with Midlands neighbours Warwickshire and added: “You could put Sussex and Kent together, they are near, and then maybe you’ll get some very good players coming through in a bigger county.”

However, Mr Clifford said: “I spoke to Zac Toumazi (Sussex chief executive) on Tuesday and we had a good laugh about it.

“I think the structure as it stands gives us perfectly good coverage of potential Test talent, and even if it were to be considered, I don’t think Kent and Sussex even go well geographically.

"All the major roads are north-to-south rather than east-to-west and let me tell you the journey from Brighton to Canterbury can be a nightmare.
“It’s not something that has been discussed or is ever likely to be, it must be said.”

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