Footage of England cricketers Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler aiming profane abuse at a spectator and an opposition player respectively has again highlighted the questionable influence of home television broadcasters.
Anyone who has heard of ‘The Hundred’ by the England and Wales Cricket Board will know how ridiculous it really is.
The ECB might as well say they are going to make a tournament where players bowl from a pitch twice as long as usual with a restriction on the speed bowlers can bowl – that would be more entertaining and less confusing than watching something that you can barely call cricket anymore.
For those who don’t know, The Hundred is the working title for the ECB’s proposed 100-ball cricket format. Each match consists of two innings of 16 overs each, with the final over comprising 10 deliveries, making 100 balls in total.
The tournament is scheduled to begin in the northern summer of 2020 alongside the UK’s top-tier Twenty20 Cup.
I get where the ECB is coming from when they say that they need something new because their T20 slam has been a massive flop, but I cannot understand what they mean when they say that it will make cricket more popular and bring new people to the sport since they will just get confused watching normal cricket.
The game is also completely different to every format that is played at the moment. Take a second to think about how that will affect the players who go back to playing first-class cricket and how they will have to adjust.
How will the aspiring Test batsmen who get sucked into this game hope to actually realise their dream of playing test cricket? If the incumbent group fail and/or retire who will be there to replace them? Certainly not the people playing this ‘new version’ of cricket.
The new format is said to bring in new fans, yet how will it bring in new people if the normal cricket supporters are not all that interested or just plain hate the idea of the new format, let alone all the legends of the game going around saying the very idea is utterly ridiculous. Those people certainly aren’t helping that ideal, are they?
To sum up, The Hundred is not only turning fans away, but it also probably won’t attract many new fans, and on top of all that it is going to affect the players who want to play the normal formats and those on the brink of international selection. The ECB’s The Hundred is the beginning of the end for cricket and it will do more harm than good.