Cricket fans around the world have always wondered about ‘what next?’ after the shorter formats like T20s and T10s. Surprisingly, the England and Wales Cricket Board has the answer.
ECB has today presented its proposal for the new futuristic eight-team domestic competition to Chairmen and Chief Executives of the First-Class Counties and Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
The new competition, starting in 2020, will be based on the simple format of 100 balls for each team, a move that will add a fresh tactical dimension to the sport, ECB has stated in a release on their official website.
ECB has said that it received unanimous support at today’s meeting at Lord’s and the board of the new competition for the new format featuring aligned competitions for both men’s and women’s teams – sharing a common format, brands and identities in their own leagues.
The new 100-ball format is aimed at attracting a wider audience and promotion of the game during a five-week window in the middle of summer showcasing cricket at major venues. The organisers also aim to make a clear differentiation from other competitions such as the popular Vitality Blast with a fresh approach to broadcast coverage and promotion.
The format has also been discussed and supported by the ECB Board, the representative T20 Development Group and ECB’s T20 Governance Group and will now be further developed. It has been welcomed by broadcasters and player representatives – both men and women – have been consulted.
ECB’s Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison said, “This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game. Throughout its development, we have shown leadership, provided challenge and followed a process. We will continue to do that as the concept evolves.”
“We have a duty to look for future growth for the health and sustainability of the whole game. 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.”
“There are 18 First Class Counties, playing red and white ball cricket, at our core and these Counties and competitions will be supported, promoted and benefit from the game’s growth.”
ECB Chief Commercial Officer, Sanjay Patel, MD for the new competition, said, “The development team has had strong support and encouragement in its conversations to date and it’s time to take the concept wider as we build the detail.”
“This is 100-ball cricket, a simple approach to reach a new generation. Based on 15 traditional six-ball overs, the other ten balls will add a fresh tactical dimension. Crucially, this will also help differentiate this competition from Vitality Blast and other T20 competitions worldwide, maintaining our game’s history of successful innovation.”
“The players and our valuable broadcast partners under the new TV partnerships from 2020-24 are vital to the success of this competition and they will see the energy, excitement and simplicity of this approach.”
Clare Connor CBE, Director of Women’s Cricket at ECB, said, “Our World Cup win at Lord’s last July showed what’s possible in terms of our sport reaching a new, younger and more diverse audience. Kia Super League has had a huge impact on participation, player development and the profile of our game. It was a big investment and a bold decision by the Board and paved the way for this next stage of growth.”
“To build the women’s and men’s competitions and identities together, side by side, is a prospect that few sports ever have and will give us greater reach, scale and prominence. It will attract more women and girls to the game, ensure that cricket reaches and entertains more families and give our players an exciting stage upon which to display their talent.”