What’s The Hundred?
The Hundred is a new format of cricket tournament starting in July 2020. This 100-ball format has been introduced to the cricket world by the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). There will be eight city-based franchise teams and each of the franchises will field both a men’s and women’s team and each gender will compete in separate competition.
Each team has selected 15 players, with maximum three overseas players, during the drafting that was held on Oct 20. The teams will play 32 matches in 38 days of summer vacations from end of July to early September for the title. The tournament would be played according to the Page playoff system, the same system which is followed by the Pakistan Super League.
What’s new in the format?
Originally they had conceived of a Twenty 20 tournament, but after concerns were raised on how to attract new fans amid existence of so many leagues, the ECB proposed the shorter format. On April 19 in 2018, the ECB had announced this new format, however the exact game plan could yet not be decided as to how these hundred balls would be played.
According to BBC Sport, 100-ball cricket is a form of limited overs cricket, played by two teams each playing a single innings made up of 100 balls.
Initially, they thought to deliver 15 conventional six-ball overs and the last over comprising of 10 balls. Later, they finalized it to be 10 overs with each over comprising 10 balls.
Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per match, while the bowling side gets two and a half minutes strategic timeout. A bowler can deliver five or 10 balls consecutively.
First 25 balls of the innings would be PowerPlay and only two players would be allowed to field outside 30 yard of circle during this time.
Drafting of Players
Three Pakistani players, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi, made it in the drafting. Amir for £100,000, Shadab for £75,000 and Shaheen for £60,000.
The experienced T20 pair of Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga were not picked up by any of the teams at the inaugural player draft for the ECB’s new completion, the International Cricket Council had reported.
Both had set their base price at the maximum of £125,000, along with Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith, David Warner, and Kagiso Rabada, meaning that they had to be bought in the first round of the draft. But while the Australian trio were all taken – Starc and Smith by Welsh Fire, and Warner by Southern Brave – Malinga, Gayle, and Rabada all went unsold, said the ICC.
The first pick of the draft went to Trent Rockets, who opted for No.1 in the MRF Tyres T20I Bowling Rankings, Rashid Khan. The other players to go in the first round were Andre Russell (Southern Brave), Aaron Finch, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (both Northern Superchargers), Sunil Narine (Oval Invincibles), Imran Tahir, Dane Vilas (both Manchester Originals), Glenn Maxwell (London Spirit), and Liam Livingstone (Birmingham Phoenix), it added.
Other big names signed in the draft included Sandeep Lamichhane (Oval Invincibles), Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Amir (both London Spirit), and Nathan Coulter-Nile (Trent Rockets). But with so many players entering themselves into the draft it was inevitable that many excellent players would not be picked. Babar Azam, No.1 in the T20I Batting Rankings, was not sold before his reserve price of £75000 was passed and so will not be playing a part in the tournament. Also missing out are Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Quinton de Kock, and Tamim Iqbal.
What do critics say about this format?
New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham wondered that why the England and Wales Cricket Board was trying something different when the current format was already so successful.
Former MCC chief Keith Bradshaw called the 100-ball tournament an innovation for innovation’s sake, reasoning that the main reason behind this thought process was that the ECB couldn’t exploit the T20 boom.
Raising a few concerns about the commercialisation of cricket, India captain Virat Kohli has said he was not entirely in favour of this new format.
Cricket Australia said the introduction of shorter formats was tantamount to further ignoring Test cricket.