England to introduce 100-ball cricket for revamped domestic competition in 2020
London: The England and Wales Cricket Board plan on introducing a new format of the game where each team faces 100 balls as part of a revamped domestic competition in 2020.
The proposed format for a new eight-team tournament would see each team face 15 six-ball overs as well as another 10 deliveries to make up a total of 100 balls. It is not clear at what point in an innings the extra 10 deliveries will be bowled, or whether they will be bowled by one bowler or more.
In a statement, the ECB said broadcasters and players have been consulted about the new format. The ECB has already confirmed that Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham will be the venues for the new five-week competition, which starts in 2020. It has also announced that each franchise will have a men’s and a women’s team.
“This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game. We will continue to do that as the concept evolves. Our game has a history of innovation and we have a duty to look for future growth for the health and sustainability of the whole game,” said Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive officer.
It represents a big shift for the game, which has used six-ball overs as standard since 1979-80. Before that, overs of four, five, six and eight balls were used at various stages throughout the years. The ECB had introduced Twenty20 cricket in 2003.
While 100-ball cricket would become the shortest format in a domestic league in a major cricketing nation, shorter formats have been played around the world previously in other countries. A 10-overs-a-side competition was staged in the UAE last year, a three-day event organised by the Emirates Cricket Board. And the annual Hong Kong Sixes tournament sees each team face a maximum of five six-ball overs.
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