How about a nine-ball over? Would that be too much for a fast bowler?

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T20 Blast Finals Day (ECB)

The prospects of there being a fresh tactical dimension in The Hundred have been all but dashed after Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) chairman Daryl Mitchell said that no-one was really up for the 10-ball over because it seems kind of tiring.

Speaking to The Mail, he said: “People who are going to bowl at the death are concerned about that because of the physical demands and mental well-being. I don’t think it would be possible to ask, say, Tymal Mills to bowl a 10-ball over at 92-93 miles per hour, especially if you throw in the odd wide or no ball.”

So, to be clear: a whole extra limited overs competition is fine, but one guy bowling an extra four balls in one of his overs is far too great a workload.

Mitchell then raised an interesting question about the PCA’s workload thresholds by suggesting: “Maybe we could have eight-ball overs at the start and end of an innings to make up the hundred.”

Or maybe you could have nine-ball overs? How does that grab you? An innovative solution or would it not be possible to ask, say, Tymal Mills to bowl a nine-ball over at 92-93 miles per hour, especially if you throw in the odd wide or no ball?

Cutting to the very heart of the issue, Mitchell then said: “There’s not really an easy way to get to a hundred balls and the fact it’s not divisible by six does cause a problem.”


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  1. If 10 is too long, then does it mean that the prime numbers overs idea will never take off?

    1st over — 23 balls
    2nd over — 19 balls
    3rd over — 17 balls
    4th over — 13 balls
    5th over — 11 balls
    6th over — 7 balls
    7th over — 5 balls
    8th over — 3 balls
    9th over — 2 balls
    Super ball — 1 ball

    1. 1 is not a prime number. And your list above sums to 101.

      I wonder if anyone can think of a way of correcting both these problems in one go?

    2. I think there is a case for going the other way, though. Like with the principle behind drinking games (it gets harder as the game goes on), maybe the final over should be 23 balls long. And the bowler has only fifteen minutes to complete it.

    3. How about 100 one-ball overs? Each bowled by a member of the fielding side’s supporters in the crowd? Except that over 100 has to be bowled by the wicket-keeper, and for that over a dog has to take over behind the stumps.

  2. A couple of years ago, I went to Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport for a tour. It was very good, but I left feeling slightly diminished. The guide explained the process of creating a new beer. So what, ladies and gentlemen, is the first part of the creation of a new beer? Hop selection? Deciding on the strength? Maybe the master brewer having an idea of a beer type that fits a gap in their range?

    No. The first step is to decide on a name. Then the master brewer is tasked with creating a beer that suits the name. Marketing first, product second.

    That’s why 100-ball cricket is such a good idea. Who doesn’t like round numbers? 100 balls. One hundred balls. This is an idea with legs, one hundred legs, like a centipede. And centipedes are the go-to insect for high leg-count entomology.

    Issues to be solved:

    1. 100 doesn’t divide by 6. The problem is not the 100 (see above), it is the 6. Answer – scrap the 6.
    2. Everyone who likes cricket already watches cricket. Again, this is a problem with those people. Answer – scrap the people who like cricket.
    3. The new demographic of people who don’t like cricket, don’t like cricket. I think you can see where this is going. Answer – scrap the cricket.
    4. To get people into the grounds now that there’s no cricket on, ask Robinson’s to create a beer called “100 Balls” which tastes like the scrotums of 50 men (or 49 men and two Hitlers).

    This is literally the best possible outcome of the 100 ball cricket idea.

    1. I am delighted to see Godwin’s Law (aka Godwin’s rule of Hitler analogies) coming into play in this discussion, thanks to Bert, so very naturally – indeed without the slightest contrivance. Well done, Bert.

      In other news, I’m wondering whether KC received my e-mailed article and photograph on Monday, because I would have expected an e-ejaculation of sheer delight if he had seen it. Perhaps my messages are inadvertently going to junk again?

      1. Very tastefully e-ejaculated there, KC, well batted.

        In other, other, news – cricketers spotted by Ged and Daisy together:

        James Fuller and Tim Murtagh, in Canterbury, at the batting crease – just a fleeting glimpse – obvs.

  3. I saw someone quoting a stat which I don’t believe yet has a ring of plausibility to it. From this one series (or two series if the T20 is a miniseries in its own right) Justin Langer has lost more times to England as Australia’s coach than he did playing for them. Anyone know if it is actually true?

    1. I think it’s true, if you include both recent ‘series’. He played only eight ODIs, one against England (Lord’s ’97, lost), and lost only four test matches to England – MCG ’98, SCG ’03, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge ’05.


      1. Ahh, I wondered if he had had a few more ODI losses than that, but on the other hand knew he didn’t play all that much for them. That’s a glorious stat, brings back so many memories of all those other Tests he didn’t lose…

  4. I think cricket, a complex game, has always feared that its complexity is putting off the non-committed. But in order to achieve simplicity, as with the hundred, sometimes you have to accept a little bit of offsetting complexity. With the end result that all things really are equal.

    But my suggestion would be to look into the use of decimals when devising overs. Now 100 is not divisible by six, but you can get 20 overs into it by the cunning use of decimal places. So, for example, the first 15 overs of the hundred could comprise 5.5 deliveries, followed by five at — if my maths is correct —3.5.
    The relative shortness of the “final five” — or “final 17.5” if you like — would add urgency to the game as it reaches its proper denouement, with a rapid turnaround of bowlers.

    Counting down would be fun too, as it would require a bit of mental dexterity, and might need an “Its a Knockout” style commentator at the ground to help out, along the lines of 99, 98, 97, 96, 95, 94.5, 93.5, 92.5, 91.5, 90.5, 89.5, 89, etc. It would certainly help schoolkids at the grounds with their maths.

    The one flaw is how to denote a “half delivery”. But if they can come up with a concept like the hundred, small technical details such as this should cause them no problems.

  5. As Bert has argued above, we could simply scrap the 6, and make them 5 ball overs. This way the sides have to bowl 20 overs each. In fact, one could market this as Twenty20 – with the first 100 balls being labelled Twenty Overs and the next 20 overs. Because alpha-numeric beats alpha or numeric. In fact, we could also scrap the ‘wenty’ because ‘wenty’ sounds like ‘Wendy’ and Wendy is a shitty name. We could just go with T20 — I can really see this format catching up.

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