Marshall says structure must not be changed
Hamish Marshall says he is against a radical restructuring of the domestic programme, despite the non-stop rain that is threatening Gloucestershire's prospects of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Friends Life t20 competition.
Three of Gloucestershire's seven Midlands/Wales/West fixtures have been abandoned without a ball being bowled, causing them to lose ground on Somerset, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
All but two of the 18 counties have been affected, rendering this season's t20 something of a lottery.
A number of county chief executives, Gloucestershire's Tom Richardson among them, believe the competition group stages would be better served were they spread out across the season, rather than condensed into a five-week period in June and July.
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They believe regular Friday night games would prove financially beneficial and lessen the risks of a spell of bad weather causing widespread disruption. But Gloucestershire t20 captain Marshall disagrees.
He said: "We have to remember this weather is pretty exceptional and definitely not the norm for this time of year.
"We are in mid-summer and, generally speaking, June and July are the best weather months of the season. Most players prefer to play Twenty20 in one chunk because it enables them to focus fully on their white-ball skills without the distraction of the Championship."
Gloucestershire find themselves in the position of needing to win their final three matches to guarantee qualification for the knockout stages for the first time since 2007.
And they now face an anxious wait to see if the poor weather relents and permits them an opportunity to beat Worcestershire at Bristol this evening and stay in contention for the quarter-finals.
Further rain is forecast in the coming days and Gloucestershire must play subsequent games against Warwickshire, under the Edgbaston floodlights tomorrow, and Northants at Wantage Road on Sunday if they are to have any chance of achieving a top-two finish and, with it, automatic qualification.
Gloucestershire remain confident they can secure clearance for Australia batsman Ed Cowan to make his debut at Nevil Road tonight.
He has been signed as an overseas locum to bridge the gap between Kane Williamson leaving and fellow New Zealander Rob Nicol arriving later this month.