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