Do county cricketers play too much? Jos Buttler played for Lancashire in one game last summer, Steven Croft played in them all; a count of 41 with the county’s progress in white-ball cricket, 83 scheduled days. Across the the game well over 500 players appeared for the 18 counties at some point and an idea of the amount they played is shown in the graphic.
Statistically, the median (half playing less, half more) was 23 days, more than 260 played less including those involved in a relatively small number of Championship games, newcomers in the One-Day Cup and some playing in most of The Blast; overall, disproportionately white-ball cricketers.
Those playing more the other way of course and for what it’s worth the mean average was 30, averaging as it does across red and white ball players, those who are both. But most of the names on the game’s team sheets play on a lot more days than this: the 100 who played the most had schedules of 56 days+, among whose number was Alastair Cook who played in 14 County Championship fixtures.
Too much? The numbers north of 60 days are largely a reflection of the number of players who play in most Championship games, nearly a 100 played in 12 or more in 2022. Yet there is a justification for this, given what funds the sport is not primarily The 100 (a little over 10% of the £) or even The Blast (counties about 25% all in) but ‘England’, ECB tv deals, which, still, is largely about Test cricket in a country that plays it more than others.
Playing data sourced from Cricket Archive.