Five-ball overs and changing ends a bit less often – rules confirmed for the ECB’s ‘New Competition’

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T20 Blast Finals Day (ECB)

Is the ECB’s new competition going to be called The New Competition? The initial capital letters in the press release certainly imply this.

Then again, most press releases cap up absolutely everything the organisation in question deems to be An Important Thing within its own little insular world. For example, the ECB have also gone with The Strategy and Domestic Structure.

So the name’s probably still not established. All we know is they’re conspicuously not calling it The Hundred at the minute.

What we do have, however, is a very basic outline of the rules.

  • Each innings will be 100 balls
  • There will be a change of end after every 10 balls
  • Bowlers will be able to deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls with a maximum of 20 per game

So yes, the new competition will be 100 balls. And yes, it will effectively be 20 overs as well.

Maybe the world will think ‘sod this’ and decide it can’t be arsed adding an extra row to its stats tables. It would only be like how we lump 40, 50 and even 60-over one-day cricket stats in together.


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    1. 65 didn’t last long, if I recall correctly. Seems bizarre now that 60 overs was kept until 1999, long after the international game had settled on 50 (well, aside from us, who’d only switched from 55 overs a couple of years previously…).

  1. And. Another thing. I’ve just read the Laws of Cricket. Law 17.1 is very clear:
    “7.1 Number of balls
    The ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls.”

    So. Is this cricket?

    1. It’s decimalisation all over again, pandering to the dumbed down generation who can only count on their fingers and toes if you take their electronics off them. Ten to a team, that’ll be the next thing, and third man will be 2.5th man. Just you wait and see. Thin end of the wedge etc.

      1. Do away with 4s and 6s too – too confusing and unnecessarily complicated. Instead Running 1s remain 1s, Groundball Boundary Hits become 10s and No-Bounce Super-Hero Honda Maxima become 100s. Much more incentive to try and clear the ropes because a Hundred Hundred can be reached with just one hit – the Hundred Hit. Imagine the headlines when the first player achieves the century of these – The Hundred Hundred Hundred Hundreds!

  2. We were playing six day Tests till, at least 1985 – might have even been later (last Test of a series, if the series was still live). Wasn’t that International XI v Australia six days too, back in the noughties??

    Not that this justifies THE MADNESS.

  3. I think “Short form” stats are probably coming to encompass anything shorter than 25 overs. How do they currently deal with T10, just completely ignore it?

  4. My feeling about this ‘New Competition’ is that it is too long

    I would recommend reducing the number of balls per over to 4. If the bowler bowls too consecutive overs, it becomes an 8 ball (Which is actually how Cricket was originally played)

    the advantage of this new 4 ball (or 8 ball format) is that,
    it allows more ads to be displayed between the 20 overs (and also the super over in case it is required)

    I am told the BBC doesn’t show ads. Cant understand, how such a TV channel/network exists in this modern age !

  5. Divisibility is boring. Once we’d established here that the sum of the first nine prime numbers is 100, how come that wasn’t immediately incorporated into a version of cricket? I mean, it would have the word “prime” in it, and even I could do marketing around that.

    And maybe this result could be generalised. Maybe all integer sequences should have a version of cricket. Maybe they shouldn’t be defined as a proper integer sequence until they have an associated version of cricket. Just think of what could be done with the Busy Beaver sequence, for example. I’d watch.

    1. A sports analytics company could sponsor it. And also a High Street suit company. It could be Opta Moss Bros Prime.

  6. It feels a bit “between two stools ” to me – it’s faffing about at the edges trying to be more radical than T20, but hasn’t embraced the possibilities of messing around with eg the scoring system or number of stumps like CricketMax did.

    I had forgotten that there were Cricket Max Internationals, incidentally. Phil DeFreitas has the best-ever bowling figures and the highest score was by Tendulkar (a refreshingly palindromic 72 off 27 balls so not quite another century for his collection).

    There’s probably a parallel universe where Sachin did nab a century and it turned out to be decisive in clinching some hundred aggregation record, resulting in Indian statisticians and historians adding Cricket Max to players’ international records.

    I wonder if there’ll be any ECB NEW FORMAT internationals. If their format is genuinely an improvement on T20 then there should be. The flip side of this is that if there aren’t any, it suggests their format is second-rate.

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