TIM BRESNAN believes that the new city-based T20 competition will accelerate cricket’s appeal and lead to more Roses-type atmospheres in the future.
The Yorkshire pace bowler has thrown his support behind the franchise tournament designed to rival the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash.
The eight-team competition will run alongside the T20 Blast from 2020 and has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the first-class counties, who will each receive £1.3m a year.
Although some say that cricket does not need a second T20 tournament in this country, fearing that the Blast could be relegated to second-class status, Bresnan cited the atmosphere generated by a sell-out Roses crowd at Headingley last Friday as proof of why city-based cricket will work.
“There’s not many better atmospheres than that,” said Bresnan, who captained Yorkshire to a 19-run win in front of 15,750 spectators.
“I was speaking to (television commentator and former player) Rob Key afterwards, and he said, ‘That’s why we need city cricket.’
I think it’s one of the best cricket leagues in the world, and I’ve played in a few. The standard (on Friday) was quite exceptional. There’s nothing better.Tim Bresnan
“I certainly think it will move the game forwards at a rapid rate of knots. This (the Roses match at Headingley) is only once a year, whereas it could be six or seven times a year like this at home (with the new competition).
“If every game in that city league turns out to be one of these games, then who wouldn’t want it? It gets the boys up, and you can see how we fed off it. It was absolutely fantastic.”
Bresnan also compared the standard on Friday to that of international cricket.
Having played in the England team that won the World T20 in 2010, and the Perth Scorchers side that won the Big Bash earlier this year, he is well-placed to comment as England gets ready for the franchise event.
“I think it’s one of the best cricket leagues in the world, and I’ve played in a few,” he said.
“The standard (on Friday) was quite exceptional.
“There’s nothing better, and that’s as close to international cricket as you’re going to get.
“The quality there from both sides was probably as good as you’re going to see.”
The match featured such as England quintet David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, the Pakistan Champions Trophy-winning duo of Sarfaraz Ahmed and Junaid Khan, plus the Australian Shaun Marsh.
Yet it was 32-year-old Bresnan, who last played international cricket in 2015, who stole the show with figures of 6-19 from four overs – the third-best analysis in English T20.
Only Arul Suppiah, with what remain world record figures of 6-5 for Somerset against Glamorgan at Cardiff in 2011, and Tim Southee, who took 6-16 for Essex against Glamorgan at Chelmsford in the same year, have returned better figures.
Bresnan said: “I was very happy with that. I got the knee slide out at the end, and I don’t need to be doing that at my age. The win was all that mattered.”
It was a win that Yorkshire were unable to back up the next day when they lost by four wickets to Leicestershire.
It leaves them needing to win their final group game against Northants at Headingley on Thursday to retain hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals.