Worcestershire opener Daryl Mitchell has warned that there must be a clear defining line between English cricket’s existing counties and the new teams in The Hundred when it begins in 2020.
“The teams in The Hundred must have independent head coaches or directors of cricket,” said Mitchell, 35.
“There must be two sides, two budgets, two sets of selectors or this could be suicide for the smaller counties.”
Mitchell is currently chairman of the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Speaking on the day he was re-elected to begin his final two-year term as PCA chairman, former Pears captain Mitchell admitted to concerns about the imminent arrival of city-based cricket.
Mitchell believes the England and Wales Cricket Board have got it “about right” in terms of limiting the number of overseas players per 15-man squad to three, as that will mean fans can see the very best “white-ball cricketers from around the world”.
But the composition and names of the eight teams in The Hundred are still to be decided ahead of a player draft set for October 2019.
The teams may be based at England’s Test match grounds, in Birmingham (Edgbaston), Cardiff (Sophia Gardens), Leeds (Headingley), Manchester (Old Trafford), Nottingham (Trent Bridge), Southampton (The Rose Bowl) and London (Lord’s and The Oval).
However, the worry is that the host counties will have a huge competitive advantage if their coaches are given control of The Hundred’s £1.2m per team playing budget.
“They can’t be making decisions about The Hundred one minute and then picking their county sides 10 minutes later,” added Mitchell, who was part of Worcestershire’s winning T20 side at Edgbaston last September.
“Control of the budget is the key issue. Non-host counties would have to be very naive not to be worried, as we’ve already seen this situation play out in Australia.
“Every player has to have a fair opportunity to take part in what we think should be a great competition.
“We want the best 96 English players to be involved and we don’t want it to be a postcode lottery about where you play your cricket.”