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MEMBERS FORUM: Summary of events from Forum held at Hove

13-Oct-2016

The Long Room in the Spen Cama Pavilion was packed with Members last night, for the Forum held at The 1st Central County Ground, which lasted over two hours.

Chairman Jim May welcomed members and congratulated President David Bowden on winning the ECB NatWest OSCA for Lifetime Achiever in Sussex which he received at Lord's last week.

Zac Toumazi, who is stepping down as Chief Executive in December, said that his role over the last four years had been both challenging and very rewarding. He thanked Members for their support.

Head Coach Mark Davis gave a review of the past season and answered questions. He said that the season had been a mixture of frustration, disappointment and excitement. Mark was very keen to give young players opportunity but said that they needed to develop around senior players. The aim going forward is to have players who are able to play in all formats and ideally to be able to play more all rounders for balance. Mark was confident that Sussex would be strengthening the spine of the squad.

A presentation was then given by ECB Commercial Director Sanjay Patel, Head of Marketing Rob Calder and Head of Commercial Partnerships Mike Fordham on 'The Future of T20 in England & Wales'. They explained that a new city based T20 tournament, running after the existing NatWest T20 Blast involving all eighteen counties, was being worked up for likely implementation in 2020. The rationale was to engage a new audience with cricket, particuarly young people against a background of a declining participation, concerns about the future of test matches outside of England and the financial challenge faced by several counties.

They have a clear aim to ensure that a proportion of games in the new T20 tournament are available free to view, and the benefits this would provide would be in terms of helping the increase in participation in cricket amongst young people and developing the next generation of cricket supporters. There were many questions from the floor and some that the speakers were unable to answer in depth as they explained that the planning was in a very early stage.

Zac Toumazi summed up the evening by saying that we should all be open minded about change but the Board and his successor would play a constructive role with the ECB to ensure that Sussex will continue to be at the forefront of cricket in England.

We will continue to advise Members of further developments about the proposed restructuring of the domestic game when they are made available.

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