LONDON: The ECB’s proposed 100-ball tournament due to launch in 2020 will be aimed at a more “casual” cricket audience with a specific attempt to draw more “mums and kids” to the game, according to England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss, reported Cricinfo.
Under the radical format put forward last week, the matches will consist of 15 six-ball overs and a 10-ball over to complete the 100 deliveries. There appears to be scope for debate about how the 10-ball over is used.
“What we’re trying to do is an appeal to a new audience, people that aren’t traditional cricket fans,” Strauss told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme. “We want to make the game as simple as possible for them to understand.
“T20 has been unbelievably successful and it has established a very strong audience now. We want that audience but a different audience as well, who perhaps would like things slightly different. That’s the driver behind this idea.”
The matches will be played across seven city locations (London will host two teams) with the tournament lasting five weeks in mid-summer. A key part of trimming the T20 format has been to try and ensure the matches are completed within a two-and-a-half-hour window when the sport returns to live terrestrial TV, following the recent billion-pound broadcast deal.
“T20 has become a longer and longer format of the game. It is more than four hours in a lot of parts of the world,” Strauss said. “We want kids to be able to go to bed earlier and it is worth saying it is going to be on terrestrial TV. We want the more casual audience.”
Though some voices have come out in support of the plans – which will leave the T20 Blast as the domestic 20-over competition in England – there has been a largely negative response to the proposal. In an ESPNcricinfo poll with over 12,000 responses, 68% were against the format.