Essex chairman John Faragher: T20 change may create eight-team Championship

Essex v Notts
Essex lost to Nottinghamshire in the T20 Blast quarter-final at Trent Bridge this season

Essex chairman John Faragher is concerned a new T20 competition could eventually lead to an eight-team County Championship.

Counties voted in favour of a new eight-team city-based T20 competition to run alongside the current T20 Blast.

But Faragher said some counties have changed views since September's vote.

"The proposal, in my view as it stands, will seriously, seriously devalue county cricket and our own domestic T20 competition," Faragher told BBC Essex.

"I'm very much in favour of change in cricket and we have to do that, we have to engage with the next generation of cricket followers.

"But it must be the right kind of change, not for the sake of change and for the benefit of some of the bigger counties who will financially do very well out of this, probably better than the smaller counties."

'We could end up like Australia'

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been keen to introduce a new T20 event to rival the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash League.

Faragher voted in favour of progressing discussion over a new tournament "subject to certain conditions", but now feels that the vote has been seen as a straight yes or no.

He previously revealed counties that do not host any games will receive somewhere in the region of £1.3m.

But he is worried that the changes could be to the serious detriment of the counties that will not have one of the T20 teams.

"I have a concern that if we were to go down this eight-team city-based route, we would end up possibly in the future having eight counties like state cricket in Australia," he continued.

"Then the other 'smaller' counties, the likes of us, Kent, Sussex, we would be pushed to one side and be made into minor counties."

Promotion and relegation T20 competition

Northants
Northants, in County Championship's Division Two, won this year's T20 Blast competition

Faragher revealed there will be a chairman's meeting at Lord's on 8 December to discuss the current situation with the ECB.

And Faragher has outlined an alternative proposal for the future of T20 cricket that he would be in favour of.

"One thing I'd like to see, which I think would be well received in the counties, would be to have a T20 competition based on promotion and relegation," he added.

"We are by nature a tribal nation. All of the counties have their own very powerful support and I think we would get a high level of support with a promotion and relegation T20 competition."