County cricket in England was never a large revenue earner from its very beginnings. It reached crisis proportions many times and always continued to recover mainly because of the passion of those who enjoyed the game and were willing to contribute to its welfare. Other sports were growing but cricket was falling back as it was seen to be drab, outdated and only kept alive by the dwindling traditionalists and their love for the ‘gentleman’s game’.
Thus, in 1963, the cricket authority which was the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), finally gave in to a new attractive plan to bring people out to the county grounds to witness the game of cricket, so rekindling interest in the English summer game. This plan was the limited-overs game.
One must be reminded that at this time there was no such thing as a limited-overs game and first-class cricketers only played three-day and four-day matches, plus the better ones who might be chosen for their country would take part in a five-day Test match. Hence it was with a tremendous round of excitement that this new venture was greeted. The agreed-on concept would be a game to be played under the existing laws of cricket but each team would only be allowed one innings of 60 overs.