Backyard cricket is a better concept than the ECB’s ‘The Hundred’

Bill Peters Roar Rookie

By Bill Peters, Bill Peters is a Roar Rookie

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    The ECB’s brave new initiative and fresh approach to cricket,’The Hundred’ domestic competition in the 2020 English summer, has missed a real opportunity to bring in ‘backyard’ rules.

    While Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss and current English Test captain Joe Root have been positive in their belief that this will be a good thing for cricket, many others have suggested that it may be a marketing ploy with little to offer.

    With the concept still in its infancy, the fact that it has been announced this week seems to indicate that the ECB plans to move forward with the proposal.

    The ECB offers a league with eight cities that will stand apart from the other domestic T20 competitions around the world, such as the Indian Premier League, the Big Bash and the Caribbean Premier League.

    The announcement has brought a varied and proportional response from cricket lovers around the world.

    The heart of this concept is that both teams would face 100 deliveries made up of 15 six ball overs, and a final over of ten deliveries.

    Of course, there is no chance this will be a 100-balls-per-side initiative. The number of wides and no balls that come with the one-day game will ensure that number is never achieved.

    There are also possible rule tweaks that include abandoning LBW dismissals and allowing a change of bowlers in the middle of the final ten ball over.

    According to ESPNcricinfo, the ECB chief executive Tom Harrison believes, “This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game.”

    While the English captain, Root, has been quoted as saying “It’s going to appeal to a completely new audience, and I think that’s great,” and that mums and kids would be drawn in by the ‘new’ concept.

    If the ECB is serious about creating a new competition which would bring in the mums and the kids or casual fans, then instead of borrowing heavily from the T20 cricket format that already exists, why wouldn’t they design a game that revolved around backyard cricket rules?

    Who wouldn’t be excited about seeing domestic cricketers playing a game under rules such as can’t get out first ball, hitting the ball over the fence is six and out, and batsmen can be caught out on the ‘one hand one bounce’ rule?

    What about bringing in the automatic wicketkeeper? Or put in the garbage bin at silly point, and if you hit it on the full you are out caught?

    If you want real excitement, let’s play under the ‘hit and run’ rule. How about bowlers can claim they have two balls to go in their over, even though they’ve been bowling for twenty minutes?

    These are the kinds of changes to cricket that might draw in the mums and the kids in a different way from the current cricket formats, simply not just another shortening of the overs being faced by each side and then a fancy multi-ball over to finish off the innings.

    Better yet, open up the discussion to the public as to what rules they actually want to see in a new cricket competition and not just give the game a quick polish and pass it off as ‘new and exciting.’

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • April 27th 2018 @ 6:00am
      Jarijari said | April 27th 2018 @ 6:00am | ! Report

      THE UNOFFICIAL RULES OF BACKYARD CRICKET
      LAW 1 – DISMISSAL
      1a – First Ball
      No player can be dismissed first ball.The purpose of this law is to ensure your sports-averse cousin will at least feel compelled to field for a little bit after you get him out 2nd ball.

      1b – Auto Wickie
      The ‘auto wickie’ playing conditions vary from ground to ground. Some venues will use a physical structure, such as a wheelie bin or tool shed, and others may be blessed with gardens that can make for entire slips cordons.Should your venue lack these options, the general rule used will be ‘nick it and you’re gone’, as the auto-wickie never drops a catch.

      1c – One Hand One Bounce
      The Law is only enforceable when the fielder has his other hand occupied with a beverage contained in a glass vessel or aussie taco (see ‘sausage in bread’), or if the catch is spectacular enough to elicit an ‘OH!’ from at least one other player.The One Hand, One Bounce law ensures that batsman will attempt to keep the ball along the ground, therefore not losing them in the neighbour’s gum tree or down a gutter in the street.

      1d – No LBW
      The bowler can never be trusted to form an impartial view on the bona fides of any LBW appeal.Therefore, an appeal for LBW is automatically declined the moment the appeal begins.

      1e – Six And Out
      Selfishly hitting the ball over the fence shall lead to the following procedure being enacted:

      The batsman shall be awarded 6 runs; and
      The batsman will be deemed Out; and
      The batsman must recover the ball. In the event that the ball is unrecoverable, the following procedure shall be enacted:
      1) A new ball shall be found; and

      2) Should a new ball be found, the batsman who lost the previous ball will no longer be allowed to bat; and

      3) Should no new balls be available, all players shall gather in front of the BBQ and remind the batsman what a terrible human being he is.

      1f – DRS
      Any child under the age of 14 may ask for a review from an adult once per innings. Tears are known to be an effective way to sway the review in your favour. A person of any age may ask for a review by the host if at a BBQ. Law not applicable in India

      1g – Run Out
      A player will be deemed Run Out if the fielding team throws down either wicket with the batsman out of his ground. If no umpire is present, the fielding team shall determine whether the batsman has made his ground. If there are no stumps at the bowler’s end, the ‘magic wickets’ rule shall come into effect, with all throws to be considered direct hits.

      LAW 2 – BOWLING
      2a – Standard Over
      The bowler will continue to bowl until either:

      The batsman asks how many balls left. The bowler is to reply “two” and finish out the over; or
      Another fielder asks how many balls left. The bowler is to reply “two” and finish the over.

      2b – Legal Delivery
      Underarm bowling is acceptable only for those under 15 years of age.

      The bowling crease shall be loosely marked, either by a crack in the driveway concrete or an imaginary mark on the grass.

      LAW 3 – BATTING
      3a – Tip and Run
      When the batsman touches the ball with the bat, regardless of the strike of the ball, the batsman is obligated to run.

      3b – Runners
      Batsman can utilise a runner when:1) Batsman is a father;2) Batsman weighs over 100 kilograms3) Batsman has a legitimate injury preventing running between wickets.When engaging a runner they must be under the age of 14.

      LAW 4 – EQUIPMENT
      4a – Esky
      The esky shall be placed at either end.The esky shall be filled with ice and beer.The esky shall act as the wicket.

      4b – Balls
      Only tennis balls shall be allowed.Taped tennis balls may be used where the pitch is rated dead

      4c. Dog
      Dogs are to be treated like a loose impediment in golf.Any ball caught by the dog is Out.Any slobber on the ball is bad luck and must be taken care of by the bowler.Should the dog take off with the ball for an extended period, the batsman is permitted to take a maximum of four runs.

      4d – Bat
      Only bats with well worn grips, a fake signature or a Gray Nicolls moniker may be used.Visiting players may bring their own equipment.Double scoops are prohibited.

      LAW 5 – THE SPIRIT OF BACKYARD CRICKET
      5a – End of Match
      The game shall be deemed over when:

      The sausages are ready; or
      All the balls have been lost; or
      An Aussie century beckons on the TV; or
      Bad light stopped play
      5b – Property Damage:
      All flower damage shall be deemed to have occurred prior to the start of play. Depending on the host, the same excuse will apply to dents in the shed and/or car.

    • April 27th 2018 @ 6:34am
      Mark said | April 27th 2018 @ 6:34am | ! Report

      From the title, I thought you may have been tongue-in-cheek Bill, but from your suggestions, I think that’d actually generate a great deal of interest, encourage kids to play and be fun to watch.

    • April 27th 2018 @ 10:15am
      Paul said | April 27th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      This would be a terrific idea for younger players or those who are past the age when they should have retired. I could see an over 50’s type tournament being a possibility or maybe the champion older blokes play against some good junior players.

      You’d need to do some work on the rules as much of my back yard cricket involved a beer or 12 as I got older and it would a shame that could not be included somewhere.

      As an aside, there was an article on the CA website where T20 games in India, supposedly a fast form of cricket, are taking 4 hours to finish, which in part explains this 100 ball concept. At least with backyard cricket the game can take as long as it takes, or until mum calls everyone inside for tea.

    • Roar Rookie

      April 27th 2018 @ 12:51pm
      Tom VDS said | April 27th 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

      Bring back the XXXX Gold Beach Cricket Series?

      My only issue with this type of cricket, will we have the stump mics turned up? Sledging in this form of cricket is rife!

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