The new Hundred Ball competition is fast approaching – and Worcestershire CEO Matt Rawnsley is already playing a key role.
Mr Rawnsley is part of the board of directors set up to run the Birmingham region – one of eight that will be contesting the competition from 2020.
He is working closely with his Warwickshire counterpart Neil Snowball to ensure the right structures will be in place to for when the Hundred Ball is launched.
There will also be the exciting prospect for Worcestershire supporters of being able to watch three matches next summer in the Women’s Hundred Ball tournament at Blackfinch New Road.
Mr Rawnsley explained: “Each region – there are eight – has a board of directors and that board is made up of the CEOs of the county clubs associated with that region.
“For Birmingham, it is Warwickshire and Worcestershire so myself and Neil Snowball are the two board members at this stage.
“Neil and I get on very well. We are both very committed to the partnership and we want the Hundred Ball Competition to be a success.
“It will be good for the game if it is. There will be a lot of decisions to make in the next six months.
“We need to set up the companies themselves and appoint staff to run it. We’ve got a draft in October for players and we need certain things in place to make sure we are prepared for that.
“We will also decide which coaches are running the region and the coaches decide the squads.
“Again it is a timing point of view. We will have some decisions to make as regards what kind of players we are looking to get in the draft but the first thing is you are looking at is the structure, who we want to run that team and what skill and knowledge level they have to make sure they are equipped to understand the English game.”
Mr Rawnsley is relishing the challenges that the Hundred Ball competition will bring and how he hopes it will help to shape the future of the game.
He said: “It is great to be involved. There is that pressure that we want it to succeed. There is a lot riding on it. I wouldn’t say the future of the game but certainly the success of what the game looks like after 2024.
“If we make a success of this as a tournament and it ticks the boxes in terms of increasing participation and interest in the game, particularly with the younger generation, than we’ve done our job.
“We will see what the game becomes. What we didn’t want was direct competition to our own Vitality Blast tournament. We didn’t want to devalue that, it is strong in it’s own right.
“It is something different, it is something else, it is something on top of what we have today. It is not replacing anything.
“We are also delighted to be able to stage three of the women’s One Hundred Ball matches at Blackfinch New Road and will announce details of those games when they are finalised.”