The Ultimate Kricket Challenge looks delightfully half-baked and bonkers and Kevin Pietersen seems to be at risk of being set on fire

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Here’s a thing. Six lads that you’ve heard of are going to play a one-on-one form of cricket called the Ultimate Kricket Challenge this Christmas and New Year. (Or at least that’s when it’s going to be broadcast on Star Sports and Disney Hotstar.)

The lads in question are Rashid Khan, Eoin Morgan, Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate Kricket Challenge website does not yet reflect this, featuring as it does “Kevin Peterson” and also Shahid Afridi, who presumably decided he had other things to do.

Selfish cricket

But yes, you did read that one-on-one bit correctly. In Pietersen’s own words: “It’s one versus one. In a cage.”

In one way, this seems a good fit for KP, who is not exactly world-renowned for his ability to get on well with team-mates for prolonged periods.

In another, far more significant way, it is terrible for KP, because he is fairly shit at bowling.

Pietersen is (by one narrow and somewhat arbitrary definition) the worst Test bowler of all time. That said, he is at least in some sense a Test bowler, in that he is a man who was considered good enough to very occasionally bowl in Test cricket.

Eoin Morgan is not a Test bowler. With just two professional wickets to his name, Eoin Morgan is not really a bowler at all.

Eoin Morgan would appear to be at quite a grave disadvantage in an individual format of the game where you have to do all your batting and bowling yourself.

Here’s Morgan spinning himself a catch, seemingly oblivious to the fact the ball’s ablaze.

As The Iceman, you’d think he’d be extra concerned about that.

The Ultimate Kricket Challenge does seem to be highly flammable though. Pretty much everything in the promo video catches light.

Here’s KP throwing his bat and instantly incinerating it purely through the power of tantrum.

The ultimate challenge

The Ultimate Kricket Challenge doesn’t actually seem like all that much of a challenge to us. Surely if you’re the only bowler, the ultimate cricket challenge would be a timeless Test on the flattest of flat pitches?

That seems like a real test, but this particular ‘challenge’ merely comprises two innings of 15 balls.

As far as we can tell, runs are scored not – as the term might suggest – by running, but by hitting the ball in certain “scoring zones” offering one, two, three, four or six runs.

There’s also a 12-run “bullseye”. Sadly we couldn’t unearth any information on where exactly that is located. On the bowler’s testicles perhaps?

The somewhat confusing rules also state that five runs will be deducted for the loss of a wicket and that, “Batsman is declared out incase of a dot ball, catch, run out, bowled, hit wicket, stumped or interference.”

So if we’re reading that correctly, a dot ball cannot be a dot ball as a dot ball automatically results in the loss of five runs. Perhaps if there were such a thing as a five-run zone, you could engineer a dot ball by hitting it there before getting run out – but there isn’t one, so you can’t.

Oh wait, how do you get run out if you’re not running?


In keeping with more traditional cricket tournaments, you are more likely to qualify for the Ultimate Kricket Challenge semi-finals than not because the round robin phase only reduces the competitors from six to four.

The semi-finals and final will be played on the same day and then someone who isn’t Eoin Morgan will be crowned champion.

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  1. “Bowlers can use Standard, Seam or Spin balls”. Will they have a choice of actual balls optimised for their chosen style, with aerofoil-like seams or internal gyroscopes? If so, shouldn’t there be an “incendiary” as used by Morgan in the picture? Or can they choose which style to bowl, if so why is this noteworthy? And what is “standard”? What does it all MEAN? What DOES it all mean?

  2. I would have been good to see how Alister Cook, sorry, Sir Alister Cook would fare in the bowling part of this as his only 3 overs he ever bowled in test cricket giving 7 runs and taking 1 wicket could add another dimension to the UKC.

  3. If I were to do something as silly as to treat this seriously, I would suggest that surely Andre Russell would win this easily, being the only who falls into all 3 categories of being able to bat, bowl, and not be retired.

    1. Surely the Universe Boss has the pangalactic advantage in the Planet Krikkit Rules Cricket format.

  4. Sigh. Just when you thought this fucking virus has done enough damage, you have these loons spinning all kinds of shit.

    When do we get back to real cricket operating under real rules with real people watching in real stadia?

  5. I was fine with T20 ruining Test Cricket, but now they’re going after the premium format, single wicket cricket? Up with this I will not stand.

    1. Single wicket cricket has the glaring disadvantage of the fielding (other than caught and bowler) being literally out of the hands of those playing. If this could be fixed somehow, I reckon a Wimbledon of single wicket cricket would be top notch sporting entertainment.

  6. Petition to make all tests in Australia day-night. Mainly because then I’m able to watch more than half the day while I work (advantages of having two screens). It also means that bowlers have an actual chance (as 21 wickets in 2 days testify).

    1. Hm, should it be testifies or testify? As in, is 21 wickets in two days an event that testifies or do 21 wickets testify as 21 individual events?

      1. Reckon you’re citing the instance of 21 wickets falling in two days so ‘testify’.

        Otherwise some of the individual wickets wouldn’t actually testify. Those early ones, for example, only now qualify thanks to all the ones that followed.

    1. Test cricket continues to put novelty formats to shame in its ability to conjure ridiculous outcomes and drama.

      India just couldn’t cope with Hazelwood’s Standard (of) bowling

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