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ECB proposes 100-ball format for city-based competition

By Tom Walker    20 Apr 2018
ECB is looking to introduce the new format for its city-based tournament in 2020

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has revealed it is looking to introduce a '100 balls' format into its new eight-team, city-based tournament.

Further shortening the current "T20" format of 20 overs for each innings, the new concept would see teams face 15 traditional six-ball overs and a final 10-ball over.

Designed to cut the length of each match to around two and a half hours, the move is designed to attract more families with younger children to attend evening games – as well as make the matches even more "broadcast-friendly".

Currently, a typical T20 match is completed in just over three hours.

The new format is set to be introduced in 2020, when ECB launches its new city-based tournament, featuring franchise-style teams in Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham.

Tom Harrison, ECB chief executive, said: said: "This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game.

"Throughout its development, we have shown leadership, provided challenge and followed a process. We will continue to do that as the concept evolves.

"There are 18 First Class Counties, playing red and white ball cricket, at our core and these Counties and competitions will be supported, promoted and benefit from the game’s growth."

ECB's chief commercial officer Sanjay Patel has been named managing director of the new competition.

"The development team has had strong support and encouragement in its conversations to date and it’s time to take the concept wider as we build the detail," Patel said.

"This is 100-ball cricket, a simple approach to reach a new generation. Based on 15 traditional six-ball overs, the other ten balls will add a fresh tactical dimension.

"Crucially, this will also help differentiate this competition from Vitality Blast and other T20 competitions worldwide, maintaining our game’s history of successful innovation.

"The players and our valuable broadcast partners under the new TV partnerships from 2020-24 are vital to the success of this competition and they will see the energy, excitement and simplicity of this approach.”

The plans to dispense with the proven T20 format and introduce "The Hundred" structure is seen as a huge surprise.

Reception to it hasn't been universally positive, either. Writing in the , former England spinner Vic Marks called the format a "gimmick likely to kill off the County Championship".

England and Wales Cricket Board  T20  First Class Counties  Tom Harrison 
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