Sad news that Paul Allot has been appointed director of cricket for Lancashire.
Unfortunately he will no longer be available to do his brilliant commentary for Sky.
Perhaps he can find a job for his mate Freddie at Old Trafford too.
I think Colin Graves has said that post 2020 when the new situation comes into being (city based T20 comp, reduction to 6 tests per season etc) he wants to go back to the old system of having counties bid to have a staging agreement to stage international matches at their grounds for a fixed period (perhaps 3 or 5 years).
The criteria for getting a staging agreement would move away from just how much money you could guarantee giving to the ECB but would include quality of pitches, spectator capacity and facilities (for spectators and players) etc. This is one of the reasons why the new football stand at Headingley is so crucial.
The number of grounds handed a staging agreement (for staging test matches) would reduce to 6 but with Lords getting 2 tests each year the ground to miss out would probably be guaranteed 2 ODI's (1 each against the 2 touring teams as in the old days). The 3 current test grounds which missed out on a test staging agreement would probably be able to stage the odd ODI or T20 international.
Every time the staging agreement period was up there would be another bidding process in which any of the grounds which had previously had a staging agreement but failed to meet the laid down criteria could be dropped from the rota in favour of another ground. The criteria for getting a staging agreement at each new bidding point could be more stringent thus encouraging grounds which wish to stage international cricket to continually improve their facilities.
This is essentially how the system worked before the current model.