England’s new city-based ‘T20’ competition could be limited to 100 balls a side, according to a radical proposal released by the ECB.
Desperate to create a rival to the IPL and the Big Bash, and move away from the county-controlled T20 Blast, the ECB is suggesting an eight-team competition consisting of 15 traditional six-ball overs, and a final 10-ball over, a 20-delivery shortfall on traditional T20 matches. In effect, a T16.666.
The ECB have also confirmed that Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham will be the host cities for the five-week competition, with Lord’s and The Oval each playing host to a London-based team.
‘This is a fresh and exciting idea which will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans to the game,’ said Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive officer.
The loss of 20 balls per innings will help to ensure that the competition fits comfortably into a three-hour window, with all matches expected to finish by 9pm.
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However, the proposed 10-ball final over may require buy-in from MCC’s law-makers, seeing as Law 17.1 currently states: ‘The ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of 6 balls.’
Sanjay Patel, the ECB’s chief commercial officer, and MD for the new competition, said: ‘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.
‘This is 100-ball cricket, a simple approach to reach a new generation. Based on 15 traditional six-ball overs, the other 10 balls will add a fresh tactical dimension.’
The five-week competition will feature men’s and women’s teams in concurrent competitions
The proposals represent the biggest shake-up to English cricket since the launch of the original Twenty20 Cup in 2003.