Counties or franchises? Let’s discard both and instead play endless North v South matches.
Imagine the crowds. Nothing gets people in like a rivalry and this new series has the potential to divide the nation. They’ll have to properly define North and South first, but all it will take is a shibboleth. How do you pronounce ‘bath’? How do you pronounce ‘butter’?
The Southerners could wear top or bowler hats in the field. The Northerners would wear flat caps. Fans will adopt the same attire and there’ll be Gangs of New York style fighting in the streets.
Then the Aussies will come over and everyone will shake hands, apologise and boil the kettle, before settling down for a nice patronising snigger at the tourists’ increasingly rampant metrosexuality.