Cow Corner

The Cowprint

Cow Corner

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Cowers doesn't know anyone who has been stopped in the street by someone conducting a Family Fortunes survey.

Considering the show has run for 25 years and they ask 100 people at least four different questions per episode, we are surprised.

So we will also be surprised if anyone who reads the blog will be consulted in the latest batch of market research being undertaken by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The ECB's top brass will be tucking into a hearty feast and also discussing proposals for changes to the domestic season's structure today.

Whatever they do decide will not come into force until 2010 at the earliest so don't get too excited about an English Premier League as early as next May.

Cowers was once stopped outside The Oval and was asked if we could spare a few minutes for cancer research. We said, "All right, but we won't get much done." So just in case any young girl, carrying a clipboard, does wish to consult our opinion on domestic cricket, here's our blueprint:

- Don't play Championship matches at the same time as Tests, no-one takes any interest. You wouldn't go and see Talon if the Eagles were playing 40 miles down the road would you.

- Therefore less games so how about an eight team League with everyone playing each other once. Be honest no-one would miss Derbyshire, Leicestershire or Northamptonshire would they. Worcester and Gloucester can merge so could Kent, Hampshire and Sussex into some form of Stockbroker belt super power: the "Southern Hedge Funds".

- Abandon the 40-over competition completely, it's like playing football on a full size pitch with five-a-side goals. Even if limited overs cricket survives the 20-20 explosion, it's 50 overs not 40.

- If the international 50-over games continues then it needs a domestic feeder but make it interesting not the long-winded group format of the Friends Provident. How about straight knock-out but make it a best-of-three or even best-of-five series. Three rounds, three weeks.

- Don't overkill 20-20 with everyone playing each other 61 times. Give the games some meaning.

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It was great to see two games in the FP Trophy yesterday being played at schools.

Suffice to say Oakham and Whitgift are not your run of the mill comprehensive where there would be a good chance that the clubhouse would be set alight between innings by some year 10 pupil going through his Marilyn Manson phase.

But you don't see Arsenal saying: 'Screw the Emirates, we'll play Bolton at Harrow School'.

Of course outgrounds are a great English cricketing institution and sadly in decline. Only in this country, would a team forgo the most famous ground in the world to play on a park in Southgate.

Although Cowers has no time for the out-of-county outground and plans to start a campaign to have all records on these grounds expunged from the records.

We don't care what it says under the Local Government Act 1972, Bedfordshire is not a real county and we refuse to recognise any games ever played in Luton and don't get us started about Stockton!

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TALKING POINT: How would you change English cricket and how do you come to terms with not living in one of England's proper 18 counties.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "My biggest mistake was to abstain from the selection of the team. Though I watch a lot of cricket I am no expert. I had a separate list of players that I wanted, but I left it to Rahul Dravid's judgement. After seeing the list, my friends told me it looked like a Test team." Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya seemingly oblivious that the Royal Challengers captain, known as The Wall, did not gain his nickname not from his prowess with a trowel.

LIVE TODAY: Nothing, not a jot. They are not even letting kids play games with tennis balls in parks on the mainland. But over in Jersey, it's day seven of the World Cricket League Division 5 and Singapore could pip Afghanistan for a place in the semis with a win over Japan. We couldn't make that up.

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