Strauss - Too much cricket
On the eve of the new county season, Andrew Strauss says he'd like to see a structure change.
Last Updated: 08/04/10 4:53pm
England captain Andrew Strauss has voiced his concern at the earliest start to the County Championship in its 121-year history.
Although the England and Wales Cricket Board has reduced the number of competitions from four to three this summer, each county actually has more days of cricket than last year.
That has forced the championship, traditionally the flagship competition, to begin on April 9.
The 2010 season is due to end on September 18 with a showpiece 40-over final at Lord's.
Strauss, whose lack of involvement in the World Twenty20 means he is set to be available to his county Middlesex for much of the early season, has his reservations.
"I think we're playing too much and that's been the case for a number of years," he said.
"I don't think I'm saying anything the players haven't said before.
"This season has had to be structured differently to previous seasons for a number of reasons.
"I think from a county squad's perspective you've got to think how to get the best out of the players you've got and that might mean rotation policies or resting players occasionally, especially the bowlers, in order to make sure the team is still functioning well come September."
This summer's glut of domestic cricket has called the championship's two division structure into scrutiny.
For the past 10 seasons the 18 first-class counties have been divided into two, meaning 16 games for each.
A three group structure has been mooted, as well as a top flight of eight with a second division of 10, and Strauss certainly sees room for improvement.
"I still have some issues with the structure. I think that could be better," he added.
"The way or lack of preparation for games - the schedule doesn't allow you to do that - I think is a bit of an issue for county cricket and I think hopefully that will be addressed over time."
Surrey's Mark Ramprakash will be playing in his 24th championship campaign, by the end of which he will be 41.
With some counties due to play four championship games before the end of April, the former England batsman too has his doubts about the start date.
"It is very early, April 9, probably too early, but I think it's part of batting, which is countering a lot of different conditions," Ramprakash said.
"I think it's always a challenge early season if the ball is moving around, but if you do do well you get a lot of satisfaction for it.
"In all honesty, to have three or four four-day games in April, that to me would seem a lot.
"I wouldn't like to see four-day cricket devalued by being pushed to very early in April or very early in September."