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Cricket Unleashed

Cricket Unleashed working as one team

10% of players and 15% of volunteers lost to the game - those are key issues identified since 2013 in ECB's National Cricket Playing Survey.  Players have consistently said that the game takes too long and finishes too late.  Club players and volunteers shared their ideas to retain current players, welcome back lost players and to attract new players in four Hampshire Cricket Unleashed roadshows up and down the county:

Start / end matches earlier
Fewer overs at lower level
Less travel / smaller divisions
Rule flexibility
Wrong people at AGMs
Backed by a player survey clubs then made a first set of proposals to 2017/18 senior and junior league AGMs ...


  • 2018 (Aug) League numbers fall to lowest in 15 years
  • 2018 (Aug) Massive take up for Women's Softball Festivals and Southern Vipers Summer Camps
  • 2018 (Aug) All Stars programme culminates with parade at The Ageas Bowl at Hants/Vipers T20 double-header, and they are joined by 55 HantsTopGun winners and their guests from 39 different clubs
  • 2018 (Jul) Wisden Club Spotlight Building A Thriving Junior Section featuring Lock's Heath CC includes call for reduced overs to help junior/senior transition - see the discussion
  • 2018 (Jul) clubs arrange starts as early as 830am on day of football world cup quarter-final but 25 games cancelled as league does not allow game shortening or date changes
  • 2018 (Jul) positive player loans trial feedback (including player returning to cricket after 12 years)
  • 2018 (Jul) Hampshire Cricket announce free/reduced tickets for 2018 All Stars and parents to see Hampshire/Southern Vipers double-header
  • 2018 (Jul) #HantsTopGun scheme rewards grassroots cricketers with free Vitality Blast tickets
  • 2018 (May) All Stars Cricket (year 2) starts in 60+ Hampshire locations for over 2000 5-8 year olds
  • 2018 (May) ECB publishes junior format recommendations
  • 2018 (May) Matt Dwyer gives final interview on All Stars, participation and 100-ball before taking up role with Tennis Australia
  • 2018 (Apr) ECB 100-ball competition to start in 2020 - Ageas Bowl to host one of the eight teams
  • 2018 (Mar) I'Anson League announces introduction of player loans
  • 2018 (Feb) Hampshire Cricket League AGM clubs vote for 1pm starts, player loans trial and 20% max bowling limits and reject 10 team divisions and 35 overs in regional division 3
  • 2018 (Feb) Rule change votes at junior AGMs in North and South districts
  • 2018 (Feb 1st) Players Meeting on #HantsGameChanger proposals to Hampshire Cricket League AGM 730pm Ageas Bowl - 2 free NatWest T20 Blast tickets for everyone attending (immediately follows Hampshire Cricket Board AGM)
  • 2018 (Jan) Hampshire League to publish AGM proposals
  • 2018 (Jan) Rule change meeting in South junior district and AGMs in Winchester and New Forest
  • 2017 (Dec) 7 more teams disappear from league over close season - 41 teams lost since start of 2016 as 306 teams enter Hampshire League 2018
  • 2017 (Nov) AGM proposals on league restructure, earlier starts, overs reductions and player loans trial submitted to Hampshire League by Clubs and Leagues Working Party
  • 2017 (Nov) I'Anson League ADM regionalises 2018 midweek cups: round robin format (instead of knock out) means more play and less travel providing the experience players want, number of league teams up three to 68
  • 2017 (Nov) Hampshire League averages published
  • 2017 (Nov) Southern Premier League AGM votes to start all 50 over games at 1230pm (30 minutes earlier)
  • 2017 (Nov) All Stars Year 2 and Junior Formats Pilot Roadshow - DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION
  • 2017 (Nov) New Forest and North Hants junior districts meet to consider rule changes
  • 2017 (Nov) 309 Hampshire League teams in 2018 - was 343 at start of 2016, 38 teams now lost
  • 2017 (Sep) Working Party in discussion with ECB and leagues on restructure and other proposals

"The survey results are with the leagues and the Working Party will discuss the next steps for the 2018 season. It's vital that players ensure THEIR views are represented at EGMs or AGMs."

Tony Oxley, Clubs & Leagues Working Party Chair

2017 (Sep) Hampshire club cricketers speak to The Cricketer Magazine:

"I speak to our under 15s and most say the day is too long and they have better things to do. This needs sorting quickly. We’ve had a survey and most people want 40 overs a side maximum with a 1pm start. Currently it is 45 overs, 2pm start. Last week I was home at 10pm!"

“Our club has 80 kids aged five to eleven, we also have 20 under 15s playing regularly. The big issue is the transition into the adult game. It is becoming tougher each year.”

Rob Franks (Ellingham CC), Chris Bolton (Sarisbury Athletic CC)
  • 2017 (Sep) Deadline for motions to Southern Premier League AGM
  • 2017 (Sep) Southern Premier League averages published
  • 2017 (Aug) Lap of honour for 200 5-8 year olds given free tickets to see Hampshire and Southern Vipers at The Ageas Bowl
  • 2017 (Aug) 35 teams - 10% - have now dropped out of the Hampshire League since start of 2016 season
  • 2017 (Aug)  Working Party shares #MyHantsGameDay survey results with leagues, clubs, players and audience of 200 players from 65 clubs at The Ageas
  • 2017 (Jul) 414 Hampshire responses to National Cricket Playing Survey, that's 3507 replies from 2369 different respondents in 5 years
  • 2017 (Jul) #MyHantsGameDay survey launched by Working Party
  • 2017 (Jun) Women's Softball Festivals enhance Hampshire's W10 women's club programme
  • 2017 (May) All Stars begins:  #BigMoments for 1500 5-8 year olds in Hampshire and 37,000 in England and Wales
  • 2017 (May) Call to abolish teas goes V I R A L sparking wide ranging discussion and player poll
  • 2017 (May) Matt Dwyer ECB Participation and Growth director presents update at Hampshire Cricket Unleashed stakeholder day at The Ageas Bowl
  • 2017 (Apr) 27 teams have dropped out of the Hampshire League since start of 2016 season prompting big debate on social media
  • 2017 (Feb) All Stars Cricket is launched, 50 centres at Hampshire clubs
  • 2017 (Feb) Clubs and Leagues Forum (leagues, officials, county board, county club) sets up Working Party to Make Change Happen
  • 2017 (Feb) Hampshire League AGM passes majority voting but rejects many other changes
  • 2016 (Dec) Hampshire League surveys clubs supported by twitter player polls
  • 2016 (Dec) Sport England announces £7.6m funding for cricket 2017-2021 to support Get The Game On, women's, South Asian and short form cricket
  • 2016 (Nov) Southern Premier League AGM votes in coloured clothing and white balls and earlier start times for time cricket in premier division
  • 2016 (Nov) I'Anson League ADM votes in win/lose cricket and smaller divisions restructure for 2018
  • 2016 (Oct) Hampshire Cricket Unleashed roadshows set priorities

"We absolutely need to challenge what we currently do, to get to what players and officials want."

Tony Oxley, Hampshire Cricket Board Director (Clubs & Facilities)
  • 2016 (Oct) Updated article on changes in league cricket since 1992 by top cricket badger Dave Marshall (Sway Cricket Club) - original article 2014
  • 2016 (Jul) 537 Hampshire responses to annual National Cricket Playing Survey

"Cricket Unleashed grew out of substantial consultation and is a growth strategy designed by the game, for the game. Its aim is to get a bat and ball into more hands and engage, excite and improve the game for the next generation."

Matt Dwyer, Participation & Growth Director, England & Wales Cricket Board

"Success in 2020 will be more people playing, watching and loving the game. We'd like to share cricket’s plan to get more people involved and make it easier to stay involved. We also need your views on how to gain more players, followers and income to re-invest in growing the game in Hampshire."

Tony Oxley, Hampshire Cricket Board Director (Clubs & Facilities)
  • 2016 (Mar) I'Anson League conducts players' meetings to discuss future development of the league
  • 2016 (Mar) ECB's Matt Dwyer interview with All Out Cricket
  • 2016 (Feb) Hampshire League AGM rejects reduced overs proposal in regional divisions 3 and 4
  • 2015 (Nov) I'Anson League Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) rejects proposal to introduce win/lose overs cricket
  • 2015 (Jul) 446 Hampshire responses to National Cricket Playing Survey
  • 2015 (May) ECB appoints Cricket Australia's Matt Dwyer as Director of Participation and Growth
  • 2015 (Mar) ECB launches Get The Game On campaign including League Blueprint launched
  • 2014 1472 Hampshire responses to National Cricket Playing Survey
  • 2013 ECB's annual National Cricket Playing Survey launched - 638 Hampshire responses

Cricket Unleashed stumps

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