Time for three divisions?
I have been persuaded that a radical shake-up of county cricket is needed.
After talking to several people involved at ECB and county level, I have decided to write down what I think should happen to the County Championship.
To accept this idea you do have to either agree that there are too many matches played at present or you are at least as fed up as I am about the number of times changes are discussed.
I don't like the idea that the Championship should be reduced to create space in the schedule, but I do concede that whilst protecting the first-class game one cannot ignore the money which the shorter formats - most notably T20 - brings in.
What is wrong with two divisions? Not a lot in my opinion and the most recent seasons have created some terrific stories.
However, those of us who like to think of the Championship as being more than just a set of trial matches need to lead the debate and not follow it.
So here goes with my solution.
Glen Chapple's Lancashire would have had to play off for the County Championship title under Kevin Howells's plan to revamp the domestic first-class game (Getty Images).
Have three divisions of six teams (not conferences and not regional). Each team would play a minimum of 11 matches and a maximum of 12.
Matches 1-10 would be played home and away for league points.
Matches 11 and 12 would be play-offs and drawn matches, when the teams have the same points, would be decided by super overs.
In terms of the play-offs, firstly, the teams finishing second and third in each division would play one another. The winner would go on to play the side finishing top for the right to be crowned Champions.
In Divisions Two and Three the sides involved in match 12 would both be promoted.
At the other end of the table, those in fifth and sixth would play one another, the winner of which would then play the team in fourth. The winner of match 12 would stay up and the two losing sides from matches 11 and 12 would be relegated.
Those bottom three clubs in Division Three would be different. The bottom club would play twice, against the teams in fifth and fourth, needing to win both to avoid the wooden spoon.
Overcomplicated it may be but other sports work with even more complicated systems and they make them a success.
Are play-offs fair and good for the integrity of the competition? No. But most other professional sports have taken them on and the majority of supporters have bought into the entertainment and interest which they bring.
Of course the weather is a factor which most other sports don't have to contend with but this promotes entertainment and skills.
It may be tough on what might amount to the same teams in Division Three, but already in the current format promotion from the Second Division is seemingly unattainable for them.
However, this suggestion creates a new sense of challenge which should act as a good incentive.
As I wrote at the outset, if you don't see the need for change and you don't think the lobby for fewer matches will ever win their case, fair enough.
But also be certain that the lobby to remove two county teams from the 18 will not prevail. Fewer matches, in my mind, is the lesser evil.
If you do see the game losing its place even further at the table in the national media and in sporting awareness then at least give the idea some thought.
During the writing of this piece I spoke to someone on the phone on an unrelated matter.
I explained what I was doing and I could hear their despair, and he is someone who has followed and given a lot to the game for many years.
We will not fall out over it because he and I know that we both want what is best for county cricket.
I hope you have read it and think about it in the same spirit.
Changes will take place, I am sure, so let's grasp the issue now.