In what could be called a bizarre move to increase the popularity of the game among youngsters, the ECB has plans to introduce an all-new cricket format, which will probably be called “the Hundred”. This new format is proposed for eight-team city-based competition.
How will the Hundred be played?
Let’s go through some quick points to explain about the new format:
Each game will consist of 100 balls per innings i.e. 15 traditional overs will be bowled per innings.
In order to complete the 100 balls, one special over consisting of 10 balls (which will probably be called the death/wildcard over) will be bowled to complete the 100 balls.
This format will also be adopted for women and, along the same lines, women’s tournament will also be launched.
The T20 blast will remain a distinct tournament and will be played before ‘the Hundred’.
Draft system will be used to select 13 players per squad and the remaining 2 players will be picked as wildcards from the blast tournament played before.
Kia Women’s Super League is likely to be broken up with new teams formed in line with those of the eight city-based men’s sides.
There will be in total eight double‑headers, i.e. women’s matches played before men’s fixtures at the main grounds while the remaining women’s tournament played at other venues.
36 games will be played in 38 days and each match’s duration to be reduced to 2 and a half hours.
Venues for the tournament will be- Lord’s, The Oval, Ageas Bowl, Edgbaston, Headingley, Old Trafford, Swalec Stadium and Trent Bridge.
Work is still on developing the final draft of the proposal which will be presented to ECB in June.
Reaction of media and the English cricketers:
The new concept has been thrashed on social media with many cricket lovers criticising ECB’s move. Even the ECB’s right holders BBC is not supporting ECB’s proposal. Former England captain Michael Vaughan criticised the proposal with his tweet- “Cricket now has five-day, four-day, three-day, two-day, 50 overs, 40 overs, 20 overs, T10 league, Hong Kong sixes and 100-ball comp… Good luck understanding our great game.’
Although some English cricketers like Stuart Board and Andrew Strauss are calling the new concept an optimistic growing move for cricket, there are more negative than positive reactions to it.
Cricket now has 5 day,4 day,3 day,2 day,50 overs,40 overs,20 overs,T10 league,Hong sixes & 100 ball comp …… Good luck understanding our great game !!!!!!! #OnOn
According to Tom Harrison, the chief executive of ECB, the new concept will provide innovation, growth to the game and will help generate more audience. But creating more and more new concepts of a legendary game will somehow erase the true essence of it.
At a time when ODI and test cricket are battling for identity with T20 cricket, this move is not really welcomed by the hardcore cricket fans. The answer to bring more audience and expansion of cricket does not lie in developing shorter formats of the game but it should be achieved by introducing new rules and regulations to enhance it, or as we should rather say, balance it between bat and ball.
It rather looks like ECB just wants to make money by attracting more audience and for that, they even are willing to ruin the great sport discovered by them. They even are willing to stack the already jam-packed schedule of cricket which eventually becomes ‘overkill’ for both players and fans. Have a look at ECB talking about “expansion of cricket” through the new format… as if they were not the ones who had a major part in limiting the 2019 World Cup to 10 teams only? In conclusion, it can be said that the new concept “the Hundred” is only filling the pockets of broadcasters and the board itself and is rather a bad move for the sustainability of the game in future. What do you think of the Hundred?
Everything about ECB’s idea of “the Hundred” (100-ball Cricket)