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Gazetteer Gets An Upgrade

We’ve spent the last few months giving the Gazetteer of British Place Names (http://www.gazetteer.org.uk) a major upgrade. We first published the Gazetteer back in 1997 and it quickly became the standard reference work for the geography of Great Britain. Since then it has been hugely … Continue reading

11 February 2020 one response

Doom-mongers have been predicting the death of county cricket almost since it was first established. However, its willingness to re-invent itself every generation has kept it a key part of the English (and Welsh!) summer. After a period of declining crowds, the introduction of twenty-twenty cricket in 2003 re-established county cricket as a mass spectator sport. Fourteen years later it continues to thrive and grow. The T20 Blast competition recorded record attendances in 2017.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/20531121/blast-attendances-record-883000

Many commentators see the buzz around the 2017 county competition as a reaction by fans against plans by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to stage a new twenty-twenty competition from 2020, based around 8 regional teams. The ECB wants to fill the big grounds with a new audience for cricket. It hopes to emulate the mass popularity of such competitions in Indian and Australia. It’s a risky strategy. The whole culture of cricket support is totally different in those countries. Can you create an audience for contrived regional teams? How can you replace a sold-out Old Trafford for the roses clash? Will the crowd which fills Lords for Middlesex vs Surrey really show up for ‘North London’ vs ‘South London’?

The new competition will not replace the county-based T20 Blast though. Whilst the new competition will be played in August, the T20 Blast will be played first, from June to mid-July, a much better slot in terms of the weather and the lack of competition from football. Is there a sufficient audience for both? Which will fare better?

Given the record crowds in 2017, the ECB would be well advised to revisit its plans for a regional competition. A less risky approach would be to build on the success of the Blast. So much could be done. Learn the lessons from counties like Surrey, Middlesex, Somerset and Nottinghamshire who attract capacity, enthusiastic crowds. How do they market their games? Play no international cricket whilst the Blast is on. Allow the England players to play alongside the world’s best stars, especially the biggest stars from the sub-continent. Play some games on smaller grounds where locals rarely get the chance to see top quality cricket. Above all, get the game on terrestrial TV. The ECB’s decision to sell all rights to domestic and international cricket to satellite TV was short-sighted, robing it of a huge audience and its status as our national summer sport. Put the promotion and marketing into the Blast. It’s already a great competition. Some imagination, some proper planning and marketing could make it truly huge.

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Link 1 October 2017 16 October 2017 Featured, News 2 responses

Yorkshire Day – 1st August

Yorkshire Day, held annually on 1 August, was created by the Yorkshire Ridings Society in 1975 as a celebration of the county. It has grown to become a huge event, both within the county and for Yorkshire men and women throughout the world. In celebration … Continue reading

31 July 2021 6 responses

Buckinghamshire Day – 29th July

Buckinghamshire Day is celebrated annually on July 29th, chosen to commemorate the first ever Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948. The Games, originally held for servicemen who had suffered injuries, became the precursors of the Paralympic Games. In celebration we present our portrait of the county … Continue reading

Norfolk Day – 27th July

Norfolk Day is celebrated on 27th July. In celebration of the county we present our portrait of Norfolk and a Map of Norfolk. Norfolk is a large county in East Anglia, forming the round eastern rump of the land. The county is famously flat and … Continue reading

26 July 2021 one response

Hampshire Day – July 15th

Hampshire Day is celebrated on 15th July, the feast day of St Swithin, an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester. In celebration we present our portrait of the county along with our Map of Hampshire. Hampshire is a maritime county of the south coast of England. A … Continue reading

Suffolk Day – 21st June

Suffolk Day is celebrated each June 21st, the longest day of the year, chosen to highlight the fact that the county is the most easterly. In celebration we present our Map of Suffolk and our portrait of the county. Suffolk is a maritime county in … Continue reading

Sussex Day – June 16th

Sussex Day is celebrated on 16th June, the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, the county’s patron saint. We present our Map of Sussex and our portrait of the county. We highly recommend the Sussex Flag Facebook page to all lovers of Sussex. Sussex … Continue reading

Wiltshire Day – 5th June

Wiltshire Day is celebrated on 5th June. We present our Map of Wiltshire and a portrait of the county. Wiltshire is an inland county in the south of England. The county is predominantly rural, much of it consisting of chalk uplands. Agriculture and tourism are … Continue reading

Devon Day – 4th June

Devon Day is celebrated on 4th June, the feast day of Saint Petroc. In anticipation we present our Map of Devon and a portrait of the county. Devon is a maritime county in the West Country of England. In the south west of Devon lies … Continue reading

2 June 2021 3 June 2021 start the discussion

Pembrokeshire Day – 1st June

Pembrokeshire Day is celebrated on 1st June. We present our Map Of Pembrokeshire and a portrait of the county. Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro) is a maritime county in the south-western extremity of Wales. Pembrokeshire is washed on three sides by the ocean. The coast is rugged … Continue reading

Dorset Day – 1st June

Dorset Day is celebrated on 1st June – the feast day of Saint Wite. In celebration we present a Map of Dorset and our portrait of the county. Dorset is a maritime county on the south coast of England. Dorset contains an enormous variety of … Continue reading