ALAN FORDHAM

The Society welcomes back Alan Fordham who previously appeared here in 2005 as a late replacement for the then ECB Chairman David Morgan.

He was a first-class cricketer with Northamptonshire for twelve seasons, ending in 1997, achieving a personal first-class best of 206* for the county against Yorkshire at Headingley. In limited overs cricket, he was given the man-of-the-match award for his 91 in the 1992 final, where the county beat Leicestershire to win the Nat West Trophy.

After retirement from playing Alan took up a post with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) as Cricket Operations Manager and is now responsible for the production of the first-class fixture list as well as having a role delivering the cricket elements of the new city-based T20 competition in, appropriately enough, 2020.

The task of putting the fixtures together isnít a straightforward one - itís not just the interests of eighteen first-class counties, but the needs of broadcasters, avoiding too much travelling and dovetailing international cricket fixtures too. Then thereís festivals (like Cheltenham) and floodlit matches to consider too.

Members will have the opportunity to reflect on the changes to the 2017 season into blocks of types of cricket and the 2018 version which should be published in late 2017.

The group aiming to launch the new T20 competition has a separate challenge altogether - having identified that cricket is seriously declining in popularity amongst the young, the new tournament needs to attract broadcasters - both commercial and free-to-air as well as both television and live audiences, whilst not alienating the lifelong supporter who sees traditional cricket being eroded.

This promises to be a most interesting evening listening to and questioning one of the men tasked with both currently running the domestic game and its future.

Chris Coleman

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