The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has won overwhelming support from 17 of their 18 first-class counties in their endeavour to introduce a new competition called The Hundred, set to begin next year.
The counties voted on the playing conditions for the new format endorsed by the ECB, and only Surrey is understood to have voted against the proposal, according to espncricinfo. The format – which former Proteas legend AB de Villiers has also supported – will comprise a 100-ball innings per side, with a change of ends after every 10 balls.
Each bowler will be allowed to bowl either five or 10 balls in a row, but will be limited to 20 total deliveries per innings. The first 25 balls of the innings will serve as the powerplay, and the bowling team will be allowed a two-and-a-half minute strategic time-out during play.
ECB’s chief executive Tom Harrison has emphasised that the new format will help to grow a new audience for English cricket.
‘This is a significant step, with overwhelming support for The Hundred,’ said Harrison. ‘Over the last three years we have worked closely with the whole game to create an important opportunity for the whole game. This new competition has already helped to secure vital new partnerships and substantial broadcast revenues, and it will help us to meet the ambitions of our game-wide strategy for 2020-24 – ”Inspiring Generations”. The Hundred will help cricket to reach more people.
‘We remain totally committed to the existing, popular forms of cricket and will be committing significant funds and focus to all levels of the game, protecting and nurturing the core, while reaching out to a wider audience,’ added Harrison.
With the rules set and approved, the ECB is now tasked with confirming the eight cities that will play host to participating teams, as well as plan a player draft set to take place in the latter part of the year.
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