ENGLAND’S dramatic World Cup victory has reignited the debate – not that it ever truly went away - around the coverage and exposure of cricket in this country.

Cricket needed a shot in the arm - in no small part down to the decision to put the sport behind a paywall in the wake of the 2005 Ashes - and the incredible scenes at Lord’s, simulcast on Sky and Channel 4, were the perfect way to provide that.

The legacy is less clear at this early stage. The Ashes will be back on Sky, hiding the sport from any non-subscribers who may have been inspired by events last Sunday, and domestic cricket will also remain solely on pay-TV.

The 2019 Vitality Blas is two days old and has already seen three extraordinary knocks – AB de Villiers’ 88 not out for Middlesex at Lord’s, Tom Banton’s 34-ball 64 for Somerset against Glamorgan on Thursday and Cameron Delport’s remarkable 38-ball century for Essex against Surrey on Friday.

Those games were not televised, however, and the only footage available from those knocks are video clips posted by counties on social media.

Sky do televise regular Blast matches – Somerset’s trip to Kent tonight will be the third in as many days – but, as de Villiers pointed out after his innings on Thursday, the tournament differs from its rivals around the world in having so many games unavailable to watch.

This has a knock-on effect on the players involved.

Somerset’s T20 captain Lewis Gregory, who will miss the trip to Canterbury this evening as he links up with his new England teammates in a pre-Ashes camp, fired 328 runs at a strike rate of over 200 during last year's Blast.

With many of those runs not broadcast to a wider audience, however, he missed out this winter in both the IPL and PSL auctions.

“A lot of people I speak to feel the Blast is a really competitive competition and the standard compares with franchise cricket across the world,” Gregory said.

“But is it visible enough for these people to see these performances day in, day out? Probably not.

“A lot of the English guys that are being picked up in franchise cricket are either playing internationally or they play for a team with a big overseas signing who is heavily involved with these franchises.

“People can obviously see numbers and stats but it is hard to go just on that without seeing what someone does, how they’ve done it and who they’ve done it against.”

Sometimes, as Gregory's Somerset teammate Max Waller has eluded to in the past, it is as simple as the old adage: ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’.

“People that are heavily involved in these tournaments do seem to bounce around all the franchise comps,” Gregory said.

“If head coaches know and trust certain people they take them around everywhere with them.

“All you can do is keep going out there and performing to put your name out there and hopefully things crop up – and when they do, it is about taking advantage of that.”

Gregory goes on to mention that most contentious of topics – The Hundred.

It’s merits and drawbacks have been discussed no-end but some of the tournament's matches on free-to-air television; whether that is enough, one year on from World Cup glory, to reignite interest in the game among the wider public is up for debate.

Gregory sees both sides of the argument and said: “With The Hundred coming in, I think you’ll see people who do well in that getting picked up in franchises a lot more and that’s the way cricket is moving forward.

“From a players’ point of view, I think it is going to be really good.

“The profile of the tournament will be really high, every game will be televised – if you are involved, it will be exciting.

“But I can see the disadvantages of it for current county supporters and members. I can understand their frustrations, but for the cricketers involved it is only going to be a good thing.

“The more games that are televised and the more people see it, the more your name will get out there."

With a potential Test debut at Lord's in the offing this week and two more trophies to fight for with Somerset, expect to see Gregory 'putting his name out there' a lot more this summer.

He can only hope the right people are watching...