Do we really need a shorter version of a T20 league? Well, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) certainly think so. They plan to introduce a shorter 100-ball version in a brand new City based league in England.
The purists love Test cricket but who watches 5 days of nonstop cricket with 2700 deliveries being bowled? The ECB had already set the benchmark after they introduced Twenty20 cricket but the cricket board now has taken another step towards the future by announcing a 100-ball a side format. Reports suggest that there will be 15 regular 6 ball overs followed by 1 mega 10-ball over that’ll make 1 inning of the match. T20s are already batsmen friendly in nature and 100-ball format will surely be in favor of the willow wielders as well. Former English bowler Chris Tremlett wasn’t very happy and tweeted to say, “As if the general public didn’t understand cricket enough in the current formats, we go and add another one. Not sure what’s wrong with 2020 and why we’re trying to get funky.”
But why does ECB or for that matter the world needs 100-ball cricket? The answer came from ECB’s Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss, “We are aiming at a new audience, 100-ball competition will be aimed at Mums & Kids.” That might be just one of the reasons why ECB wants a new format which is shorter than even the T20. An average innings in T20 cricket is aimed to finish in 90 mins. With breaks, change of innings and even the sponsored items in place, the match lasts for more than 4 hours, something that is an eyesore to most television broadcasters. In 4 hours, one can have 2 football & 4 hockey & 4 American football matches. The 100-Ball cricket is aimed to finish in less than 3 hours, a time that an average sports fan spends on live television.
The proposed 100-ball league will feature 8 English cities in a franchise based tournament that will run alongside the T20 Blast. There is no doubt that the proposed format will attract new fans but will that overcrowd the game of cricket that has 3 formats already?
Yash Chawla is former Sports Anchor of NDTV. With over 9 years of experience as a Sports Journalist, Yash now sails with Crowdynews.com