The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced a 100 ball cricket league to start in 2020. I strongly believe that cricket has to evolve so that it can grow. I was initially apprehensive about T20 but today I honestly do believe that it has changed the approach by which test and 50 over cricket are played. I approached this news as I did any other piece of breaking news. As much as possible go to the source. Separate the music from the noise. Choose sources and people that are trustworthy and have common sense. This does not mean your view has to agree with theirs.
To put things mildly; ECB is essentially looking to increase interest in cricket in terms of people playing the game, attending games at the venue and viewership on television. Pink ball cricket ie. Day and Night test matches will not work in England. This is due to the long hours of sunshine during the day. Unlike other countries; the test matches between major cricketing nations are nearly always full. White ball cricket is nicely balanced too.
ECB is looking for simplicity. Having 15 overs of 6 balls each and one over of 10 balls does not simplify things so that the common person can understand. I fully support the intention to reduce the time taken. 100 balls are good from that point of view. However, it would have been better to have 10 overs of 10 balls each or 20 overs of five balls each. If a different more exciting format was needed then have two innings of 10 overs each. Similar rules to test matches. If one of the teams played really well then you may not need to play the fourth innings of 10 overs. This would save one hour instead of 40 minutes.
There is the need for change. To understand this need you have to look at the situations in U.K. There is very little parking space close to most major cricket grounds. Public transport starts to get poor by the time a day and night match finishes. Cricket is competing with 90-minute matches. In England, there are two things you cannot change. The first is your mother and the second your football club. In the UK it is difficult to get season tickets for matches. In cricket it is easy. You can become a member of the Middlesex County Cricket Club immediately. Becoming a member of Lords takes 27 years!! Televised cricket also competes with reality shows and other TV shows.
The other thing that concerns me is the amount of cricket that will be played. I love the idea of city franchises rather than county teams for white ball cricket. However having the T20 blast, one day game and test matches in addition to the franchise game may be a little too much. People watch club football because the quality of games especially in the premier league can be better than international games. In England, the quality of cricket, especially at the test level, is lower. This is evident by the inability to find quality openers for the English team. The Indian Premier League is successful because those matches are as good if not better than international T20 games.
I am positive of the fresh outlook by the ECB but there is a very short time period of two years to do a lot of work to get it up and running.
5 thoughts on “T100”