Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Foreign Stars Could Halt Spanish Footballisation

It was a wet weekend in the Women's County Championship Royal London One Day Cup, but not wet enough to stop Kent continuing to make my theory of the Spanish Footballisation of English women's cricket look like something of an understatement as they took Warwickshire to the cleaners, the butchers and the undertakers, winning by 10 wickets, with only Amy Jones providing any kind of resistance for The Bears.

Is it any wonder that we see Heather Knight admitting that the best a team like Berkshire can hope for is to come third?

We need to find a way to balance things out; and I wonder if one answer might be for the various boards to provide a proper framework for genuine foreign stars to come and play in England over our summer.

It's true that we have some overseas players in the championship, and they are welcome additions to the scene, but I'm talking about superstars - the Lannings, Dottins and Mithalis of this world, who might actually make a difference - dragging the "normally aspirated" teams up to a competitive level with the turbocharged "big two" and maybe even pulling-in a few more spectators for Double-Bonus Brownie Points™.

Rumour has it that at least one county did try to pull-off such a coup this season, but it fell down because they were dealing with the player herself - not even an agent - and it appears to have simply gotten too complicated at her end so she pulled out! So what is needed is for the boards to step-up and devise a framework under which this kind of arrangement can happen easily, with everyone knowing exactly where they stand through the process.

It could be a win for everybody, with the foreign stars getting some cricket over their off-season (but not so much it breaks them) and the Royal London Cup becoming a more attractive, competitive proposition.

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