Okay, going to try and bring some positivity, or at least comedic speculation to this. We all know that the method of how we got here was a long way from ideal, but I love cricket and hope that this competition delivers the mass uptake in youth participation and interest that the ECB hope it does.
To that end, let's have a speculate on some squads and team names.
We know already that the host grounds are:
Rose Bowl, Hampshire Edgbaston, Warwickshire Headingley, Yorkshire The Oval, South London Lord's, North London Old Trafford, Lancashire Sophia Gardens, Cardiff Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire
And we know that the teams won't have a "title incorporating the cities, counties or venues where they will be based" because that was one of Surrey's red lines for using The Oval, and a few other complainants besides.
We can probably also guess that Indian players won't be made available for the tournament, and that England players will, even if they don't play that many games - they'll be there for the marketing at least.
So, bearing in mind all that, I've put together a few team 'brands' (I'm trying not to shudder) which reflect the best of English (and Welsh!) cricket, rather than the usual Royals, Knights and Supergiants, and potential squads for them, presuming they each draft from the nearby counties rather than having one big draft (probably wrong but makes it more flavourful in my view)
The Beach Hut Blasters For this seaside based team, what better symbol of English coastal life? I debated the Seagull just to wind up Martin Emmerson (is it Emmerson who won't accept the name seagull or one of the other comms?)
Venue:Rose Bowl, Hampshire
Component counties: Hampshire, Sussex
Captain: James Vince Coach: Jason Gillespie
First choice XI before overseas: James Vince (C) Luke Wright Rilee Roussow Laurie Evans Sean Ervine Lewis McManus Liam Dawson Jofra Archer Chris Jordan Mason Crane Kyle Abbott
Chances: Bowling depth is exceptional, with George Garton, Chris Wood and Reece Topley left out of this side. Top order batting not looking quite so exceptional though, so hopefully Felix Organ, Delray Rawlins or Tom Alsop have come good by 2020.
The Landed Gentry What could be more English than old money, high birth and high status? They'll be partying on the streets of Kensington & Chelsea and St. John's Wood when the Gentry come to town
Venue: Lord's, North London
Component counties: Middlesex, Kent
Captain: Dawid Malan Coach: Dan Vettori
First choice XI before overseas:
Daniel Bell-Drummond Sam Billings (WK) Dawid Malan (C) Eoin Morgan Joe Denly Paul Stirling Darren Stevens (who will clearly still be playing at the age of 43) James Tredwell Toby Roland-Jones Steven Finn James Fuller
Chances: Some seriously powerful batting, and that's leaving out Sean Dickson, Alex Blake and Nick Gubbins. Spin bowling is a clear weakness, unless James Tredwell is still playing or Adam Riley becomes the player we hoped he might. Picking players with double-barelled names on principle may not be the best way forward considering TRJ isn't a magnificent one day player, but there are some things that are just expected of the gentry.
The City Slickers Grouping the London teams on percieved social class rather than geography seems like the most English thing possible, and the old money:new money derby with The Landed Gentry seems like a ready made rivalry worth toasting with a few bottles of vintage Krug
Venue: The Oval, South London
Component counties: Surrey, Essex
Captain: Jason Roy Coach: Michael Di Venuto
First choice XI before overseas:
Jason Roy (C) Varun Chopra Tom Westley Dan Lawrence Ben Foakes (WK) Sam Curran Tom Curran Matt Coles Simon Harmer Jamie Porter Jade Dernbach
Chances: Could be ruined by international call-ups, but a strong squad with a good chance of going deep into the competition. Middle order is reliant on big hitting bowlers over true all rounders, but I'd back them to add a good amount on a regular basis. Likely to be the go-to bad boy team with Dernbach skulking around.
The Scrumpy Dragons What better way of celebrating the union of the West and Wales into a single team than building a team under the symbol of a cider-breathing wyrm? Even I might get behind that, and I'm sure the people of Cardiff would queue through Sophia Gardens to see them do their thing
Colin Ingram (C) Aneurin Donald Steven Davies (K) James Hildreth Roelof van der Merwe Ian Cockbain Benny Howell Lewis Gregory Craig Overton Jamie Overton Liam Norwell
Chances: A lot of depth and not many international callup risks, the Dragons would however lack a bit of true star power. Players like Craig Miles, Lukas Carey and Jack Leach were unlucky to miss out but aren't specialists in the format. Would need to add some serious power to the batting from the overseas department or they'd likely struggle.
The Border Guards Nottingham and Leicester are united by little other than southerners thinking they're northern and northerners thinking they're southern. It was that, the M1, or Robin Hood, but Sherwood Forest is nowhere near Leicester anyway.
Alex Hales (C) Riki Wessels (WK) Steven Mullaney Samit Patel Neil Dexter Lewis Hill (WK) Paul Coughlin Harry Gurney Luke Wood Zak Chappell Jake Ball
Chances: Looking like the rank outsiders, particularly if Hales has international games to worry about. Having to fit in a few Leicestershire players is certainly a challenge to their competitiveness, but a few cunning overseas signings would be needed to make this lot anything other than basement dwellers - or a huge Leicestershire resurgence in the next couple of years. Fingers crossed.
220 for Naan An alliance between the city with a curry mile and the team who could eat a mile long curry seems like a match made in heaven, and Worcestershire can join in too, mostly so I can get Moeen in as captain of one of the teams.
Moeen Ali (C) Ben Duckett (wk) Richard Levi Sam Hain Ed Pollock Joe Clarke Chris Woakes Joe Leach Jack Shantry Josh Tongue Richard Gleeson
Chances: Likely to be the 'meme team' and internet favourites, looking at that teamsheet. I've had to leave out excellent T20 players like Ross Whiteley, Adam Hose and Josh Cobb which gives them some serious depth as you might expect from a three-county team. With Moeen and Woakes away, they might lose some of the balance of this team, but Cobb and Whiteley could be reasonable replacements. Could be a fancied side.
The Tin Bath Racers The Northernmost team in the competition will retain a strong Yorkshire flavour as the ECB hates Durham anyway. No references to Roses will be difficult to maintain, so we'll go with a Last of the Summer Wine reference.
Alex Lees Jonny Bairstow (WK) Joe Root Graham Clark Gary Ballance (C) Ben Stokes David Willey Tim Bresnan Adil Rashid Mark Wood Liam Plunkett
Chances: At full strength, the best team in the competition. After international callups, a shell of a side that might even have to convince their coach to play. Could conceivably lose eight players from their first eleven, and it's a big drop off to Lees, Clark, Steel, Ballance, Leaning, Hodd, Bresnan, Rafiq, Patterson, Shaw, Rushworth. Scheduling of the competition would determine their fate.
The Twin Peaks The Peak District may technically be geographical, but I'm running on empty at this point as Derbyshire is about as non-descript a county as they come
Venue: Old Trafford, Lancashire Component counties: Lancashire, Derbyshire
Captain: Liam Livingstone Coach: Glen Chapple
First choice XI before overseas:
Keaton Jennings Liam Livingstone (C) Wayne Madsen Jos Buttler (WK) Alex Davies Steven Croft Matt Parkinson Saqib Mahmood Graham Onions Hamidullah Qadri Stephen Parry
Chances: A very interesting set of mostly young spinners in Qadri, Parkinson, Critchley and Parry could hold the key for a Lanco-Derbyshire side. Their main weakness is a lack of lower order batting with a distinct lack of all rounders at both clubs - that's something they could address in the overseas market though. Derbyshire don't contribute a great deal to this side, but that's to be expected as they're not very good.
"This is 100-ball cricket, a simple approach to reach a new generation. Based on 15 traditional six-ball overs, the other ten balls will add a fresh tactical dimension. " "Crucially, this will also help differentiate this competition from Vitality Blast and other T20 competitions worldwide, maintaining our game’s history of successful innovation."
Balladeer: Happy new year and Christmas and all that to all. (Sorry - again, I mostly browse on mobile, so didn't see your earlier wishes!)
Dec 31, 2020 8:55:05 GMT
Mattzo: I hope you are all well, and good luck for 2021.
Dec 29, 2020 20:14:16 GMT
nemouk: Merry Boxing Day Test Eve!
Dec 25, 2020 12:59:41 GMT
waughandpeace: Merry Christmas all, and a happy new year - fingers crossed we'll all be back watching more cricket in 21
Dec 25, 2020 2:01:50 GMT
pierredelafranchesca: Gale and Pyrah to support Lions as coaches.....OK, i mean Gale has been shit for Yorks and is potentially neck deep in this racism case, but sure why not. In fact, keep the useless prick.
Dec 1, 2020 14:52:55 GMT
Balladeer: Definitely needed to be a thread. I came up with one of the same answers as you because I can't see the chatbox on mobile.
Jun 22, 2020 16:14:58 GMT