The 'Hundred' - new England/Wales city-based franchise cricket competition

JENNYJET

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Indeed, Frauline is a discouraged word in the German Language as a tutor admonished me for using it when casually greeting someone in German speaking territories. Cricket, in my humble opinion, is a game of tradition as any reading of Wisden shall illustrate. Third man is what it is and I suggest Ball Girls at Wimbledon shall be called as such 'till hell freezes!
 

Kevin Farnell

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I've just watched some of the Birmingham Phoenix v London Spirit match on Sky One and have to say that I really don't like it. The graphics on the screen are garish, it quotes 'score' instead of 'runs' and 'balls remaining' instead of 'overs'. I may have got it wrong, but it looked like at the change of bowler, the bowler could choose which end to bowl from. All in all, it appears to be designed to appeal to an American audience. Not for me!

Kevin
 

TheLocalYokel

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The Hundred began on Wednesday evening at the Oval in London with the home team playing a Women's match against Manchester. It was shown live on BBC2 as well as on Sky.

I watched a few deliveries and tuned in for longer the following evening when the Men's version of these teams played each other at the same venue. I don't know what the group of balls should be called - ends I think - but balls and ends might be seen as gender-specific which is banned in The Hundred. In fact, I'm surprised they haven't gone all the way and played mixed teams of whatever gender one considers oneself. It's not uncommon to see women playing club cricket in predominantly men's teams.

The injunction to avoid gender specificity extends to radio and tv commentators who have been told that the person trying to score runs (I think they are still called runs in The Hundred) is a batter. What connection fish and chip shops have with cricket I cannot fathom other than perhaps providing sustenance to fans on their way home after a match.

Some discretion is allowed the commentators when it comes to such things as the fielding position third man. They can still call it that if they wish, although I suspect that 'authority' doesn't really want them to. Perhaps 'third person' might be more acceptable or even something innovative such as, 'The batter has hit the ball to deep Philby' or to 'square Orson' although that might mean nothing to the target audience of youngsters and might even be misconstrued by those unfamiliar with cricket as making a crass personal comment about a fielder's unfortunate physical afflictions.

I'm determined not to like The Hundred - to me it's like chess champions playing a game accompanied by flashing lights, noisy music, with gyrating chess pieces, a time limit of ten seconds per move and five minutes per game with the rules altered in order to simplify matters and the game renamed draughts, watched by an audience who know nothing about chess.

Then again perhaps this curmudgeon might change his mind and come to enjoy The Hundred. Joining Extinction Rebellion might be more likely but I can't completely reject The Hundred without watching some of it first.

To comment on Kevin's post, The Hundred and the description by the commentators is meant to strip cricket to its basics in order to make it more comprehensible to those who find the game boring and long-winded with the inner city young the particular group sought. I too found the screen graphics garish and confusing. As for the 'batter' posing in what looks like a giant dog kennel before entering the field of play, how could anyone come up with that nonsense?

The Hundred is really a 20:20 match reduced to 16 overs and four balls per side with the deliveries grouped into packages of ten instead of the traditional six in an over. The captain can decide to use one bowler for the entire ten deliveries or change the bowler after five deliveries. Fielding restrictions and other rules are broadly the same as 20:20 so why the need to introduce this cack-handed version of 20:20, and I'm not a great fan of that.

Spectators do seem to turn up in huge numbers at 20:20 competitions around the world, especially the Indian Premier League. The ECB seems to have fiddled with 20:20 just to be different.

The other problem at the moment is that because of Covid many top international players have dropped out of The Hundred teams many of which are now composed chiefly of run-of-the-mill county players, often youngsters with limited first-class or List A cricket experience.

The county one-day cup (50 overs per side) being played whilst The Hundred is taking place is in more desperate straits and has become a competition chiefly for county academy players given that more senior county players are playing in The Hundred and even some not so senior as I mentioned earlier.

There is a real fear amongst some county CEO's that if further self-isolation occurs within The Hundred squads there will be a call for more county players to be called up leaving the one-day competition in danger of being abandoned or having to use local club players to make up the numbers.

Proper cricket - the County Championship - has largely been relegated to the first two months and last month of the season with the final four rounds of matches scheduled through September!
 

Brummiegem

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Like Kevin and TLY,I thought I would give the ‘Hundred’ a watch.I saw the women’s game between London and Manchester,then the men’s game between the same teams.
Overall i couldn’t really see much difference to the twenty twenty matches.
In fact ,wasn’t the ‘big bash’ introduced for the same reasons that the ‘Hundred’,was.Mainly to get younger folk involved in cricket,and,maybe older people who aren’t keen on the longer form of the game.
Anyway I have been following Warwickshire,The Birmingham Bears,and now Birmingham Phoenix,why the name changes for goodness sake???
The Birmingham match last night was not covered by the terrestrial tv,so as I don’t have Sky,and local radio weren’t covering it,I had to settle for the BBC sport website.
What a complete disaster.It was ‘Norman Collier’for the entire match.I gave up with Phoenix about half way through their innings.The commentary was generally okay,but the constant breaks in the feed or internet reception made it very annoying.
Very disappointed with local radio not covering this game,as usually Radio WM in these parts are okay for sport coverage.
All in all,happy with the result as Birmingham won a close match,but the actual coverage left a lot to be desired.
Really don’t know why the powers that be have to keep messing with certain sports,I think the twenty over matches are really exciting.Not sure why we now have a new format to deal with.
As usual probably yet another ploy to get money out of people,rather than actually improving the sport,or making it more appealing to more people.
Whatever the reason i’ll continue to see how my team gets on,but no more than that.
 

TheLocalYokel

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The idea of having city-based teams is to attract youngsters who would not normally be interested in cricket. There have been polls carried out for the ECB that suggest that people more readily identify themselves with a city than with a county - to a degree probably because many people don't know in which county they live .*

Whether a potential recruit to cricket spectating would be more likely to give it a go if the local team was called Birmingham rather than Warwickshire I have no idea.

I live in Bristol which is the home of Gloucestershire CCC yet Bristol is not in Gloucestershire. The city's pre-1373 boundaries are used for cricket, rugby and football, where the parts of Bristol south of the River Avon were in Somerset and those to the north of the Avon in Gloucestershire. Until Somerset CCC settled on playing all their home matches at their Taunton headquarters they had a number of 'out grounds' in Bristol down the years.

Since 1373 Bristol has been in its own county, one of the seven counties that make up the government's South West region, other than for the years 1974-1996 when Bristol was placed in the locally unloved and short-lived County of Avon.

We in the South West have no Hundred team despite enthusiasm for cricket being as great as anywhere in the country. Instead 'Welsh Fire', domiciled in Cardiff, is 'our' team according to the ECB and they expect young Bristolians and other West Country people to travel into Wales to support it. The ECB didn't even have the good grace to call the team 'Western Fire' which was the other name registered for it and at least would have sounded more inclusive.

If support in the West Country for a Welsh team** is a serious belief the ECB marketing advisers are certainly not aware of the intense sporting rivalry that exists between the Bristol area and South Wales, Cardiff in particular. One wonders what other duff advice they have offered regarding The Hundred.

* many people in Bristol don't know which county the city is in. I would wager that few people on F4A would know the county. Most would say either Gloucestershire, Somerset or Avon. The latter is still in the data bases of numerous organisations despite Avon now being out of existence (25 years) for longer than it was extant.

** the same would apply in reverse if Welsh people were expected to support a Bristol team
 

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I couldn't help smiling at Simon Heffer's comment in the Telegraph when writing about the opening of The Hundred when he wrote, "In the end only one thing matters: will The Hundred entice those uninterested in cricket to become interested? I doubt it. It seems a format designed to amuse the truly stupid, and I am far from convinced that the British public contains enough people of such a low mental age to make this a wild success."
 

David_itl

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It's nice to be in the minority! I was slightly suspicious about it as it didn't look over appealing when written down but watching it does have it's merit. Yes it's a modifued T20 game but the little nuances make it have sufficient interest. Is it not logical to have 5 ball overs? Wouldn't any bowler on a "hot" streak wish he could continue bowling for another over? That you can get 3 or 4 world class players in each side is very appealing and yet there is still room for the relatively unknown to make a mark. The actual chase makes more logical sense ... do you prefer to read/hear 30 to win in 3.3 overs or 30 to win off 18 balls. Makes it so much clearer for those who only have a basic knowledge of the game that the batting side has got to average over 1 run per ball.
 

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Good to hear a differing view about The Hundred.

A city-based 20:20 competition could still have a clutch of international players in each side along with local professionals. That's what happens in such established 20:20 competitions as the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash.

As it happens Covid has resulted in many major overseas stars withdrawing from The Hundred this year with more county players called up to the eight squads.

The point you make about it being easier to calculate the number of runs needed per ball rather than per over is a valid one, especially these days when mental arithmetic seems a forgotten art. As to a bowler delivering ten consecutive balls, that's an option for the captain. Another is removing from the attack after five deliveries of the ten a bowler having a hard time. Short-form cricket seems to favour batsmen, sorry batters, so perhaps it's time something was done to help the bowlers a bit.

First-class cricket including test matches in Australia used to consist of eight-ball overs and was reduced to six per over to come into line with England in the late 1970s. That wasn't the reason though. The 'Packer Revolution' was sweeping through Australian cricket and he saw greater commercial possibilities with shorter overs (one being, I presume, that there would be more tv advertising breaks per session of play).

So it's ironic that the ECB seems to see commercial positives in effectively having ten-ball overs, their reasons apparently revolving around simplifying the game and thus potentially attracting more people who don't usually follow cricket..
 

Poshgirl

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I also had mixed feelings about The Hundred and to some extent, still do.

Last night's men's game was very entertaining. Not just when Ravi Bhopara lost his trousers lol!!

What's really irritating is the so-called interval entertainment. Whoever told the majority of them they could sing?! The games with a DJ present were better (the music, not the cricket). Ooops, nearly forgot, it's for younger people anyway.

Whether he's commentating on TMS or The Hundred, Michael Vaughan is annoying. Wish he would sometimes keep his mouth shut instead of spouting hypocrisy. Few years ago he said Adil Rashid was useless and shouldn't be anywhere near the England side. Now "he's the finest spin bowler in England". :eggonface::rolleyes:
 

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I also had mixed feelings about The Hundred and to some extent, still do.

Last night's men's game was very entertaining. Not just when Ravi Bhopara lost his trousers lol!!

What's really irritating is the so-called interval entertainment. Whoever told the majority of them they could sing?! The games with a DJ present were better (the music, not the cricket). Ooops, nearly forgot, it's for younger people anyway.

Whether he's commentating on TMS or The Hundred, Michael Vaughan is annoying. Wish he would sometimes keep his mouth shut instead of spouting hypocrisy. Few years ago he said Adil Rashid was useless and shouldn't be anywhere near the England side. Now "he's the finest spin bowler in England". :eggonface::rolleyes:
I've watched bits of The Hundred - ten minutes here, ten minutes there - when games have been on the BBC (we don't have Sky) and find it more of a mildly entertaining amusement than a serious sporting contest.

Michael Vaughan has become a bit of a Dismal Jimmy since becoming a pundit. Whether he has ambitions to take over Boycott's mantle as a blunt, opinionated Yorkshireman I don't know. Prior to Boycott there was another cricket broadcaster from the Ridings who was not given to holding back on his opinions - Don Mosey - nicknamed 'The Alderman' by that arch joker Brian Johnston as he reminded 'Johnners' of a provincial local politician. So perhaps Vaughan believes there is a dynasty.

The score graphics are confusing and messy to my eyes (they are meant to be a simplified version apparently) and I mute the sound as I find the commentators and so-called experts annoying, especially Tufnell.

Mind you, I do the same with Match of the Day. I always record it and can then spin through it ignoring most of the incessant replays of goals and other incidents, and the manager/player interviews and chatter between the games. This morning it took me just 30 minutes to watch last night's 90-minute programme. I did the 2-hour EFL show in 35 minutes.
 

Kevin Farnell

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I don't like The Hundred at all. I find it a betrayal of what Cricket is. I find the team names appalling and the on-screen graphics are likely to give me a migraine. I can see the Americans liking it, because it's fast paced, but it loses a lot of tactics. No point in your good batsman going for one run at the end of an over in order to protect your last man when the bowler can choose which end to bowl from. It's a bit like having Football without goalkeepers, so that you end up with a game of long range shots.
Even though it's still a 'slogging' match, I prefer T20 as at least it sticks to the more recognised format of Cricket.

Kevin
 

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I thought he was stabbed by Brutus.

Kevin

Ceasar is still unconquered!
I took the allusion to mean that the God that is Cricket remains unconquered despite the intrusion of those who would see it demeaned in the eyes of traditionalists. Caesar's statue - inscribed Deus Invictus (the Unconquered God). Perhaps this is becoming a little heavy for those the cricketing authorities want to attract to The Hundred.

Another oddity with The Hundred is that there are eight teams who play eight matches each in the league itself (four home and four away) before the top teams play off to decide the champions.

To achieve their eight matches every team has to play each of the other teams then one of them twice. If you happen to pick, or more accurately had picked for you, the strongest team in the league to play twice that's a bit unfortunate.

In fact, this is a throwback to the County Championship of years ago before it was divided into two divisions, and this season into three conferences. Historically every first-class county in the County Championship would play every other county once and then play extra matches against some of the other teams. The extra games were usually decided in part on local rivalries so that Yorkshire would play Lancashire twice, Surrey would play Middlesex twice, Somerset would play Gloucestershire twice and so on. That was not the only criterion for deciding the extra matches.
 

JENNYJET

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FLY is close, but I was relating to my first post on this thread. #25

The current Test series with India has grabbed me more than the interlopers in the shortest game because it is Cricket in it's finest, no irritations that may spoil the claret or the lunch and a scoreboard one can follow reasonably well.

As to Ceasar, his conquest was of Britannia if I recall correctly from his commentaries. Or was it Gaul?
 

TheLocalYokel

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FLY is close, but I was relating to my first post on this thread. #25

The current Test series with India has grabbed me more than the interlopers in the shortest game because it is Cricket in it's finest, no irritations that may spoil the claret or the lunch and a scoreboard one can follow reasonably well.

As to Ceasar, his conquest was of Britannia if I recall correctly from his commentaries. Or was it Gaul?
Caesar conquered Gaul and also made two incursions into southern Britain with very limited success. It was nearly a hundred years later when the Romans did conquer Britain.

And if today's performance in the Test is anything to go by, a number of the England team should go back to their county for some overdue practice!!
The proliferation of one-day cricket/20:20/and now The Hundred in the past 20 years has meant that this generation of batsmen has never learned to play long innings in test matches, with the odd exception; Root being an obvious one. Instead, they have become programmed to score quick runs or be dismissed in the attempt

Root as England's captain successfully lobbied for draws in the County Championship this season to be worth eight points, half the number a county receives for a win. Previously it was five points for a draw and there was a time many years ago when a draw was worth no points at all. Root's reasoning was that with a greater team reward for a draw batsmen would be more inclined to play longer and more careful innings to save a match.

When draws were worth very little or nothing at all the thinking in cricket's establishment was that the game needed batsmen to get on with it and not potter around all day for a a bore draw. Then of course most of their cricket was in three or four-day first-class county matches so they were not affected by the slog mentality. They quickly learned how to build an innings.

White ball cricket has all but taken over the cricket season in England so it is little wonder that the modern batsman struggles to stay out in the middle hour after hour in a test match in order to build an innings.

Let me give as an example the programme that my county, Somerset, faces this season. It's very similar to the other counties.

8 April-3 June Eight County Championship matches (ie first-class cricket with red ball)

9 June-18 July 14 Vitality Blast 20:20 matches with two County Championship matches sandwiched in between

20 July-12 August Eight 50-over per side matches in the one-day cup *

13 August-25 August no matches

26 August Vitality Blast 20:20 quarter final**

30 August-24 September Four County Championship matches with Vitality Blast 20:20 Finals Day on 18 September if Somerset reaches the finals

* This competition is played at the same time as The Hundred meaning that most counties are severely depleted and play largely up-and-coming youngsters - in Somerset's case they lost eight players to The Hundred's various teams and two more to England's test squad, so their one-day cup squad consists largely of players who would not normally be in the first team. Other counties are in the same boat to a greater or lesser degree.

** Had Somerset not made the 20:20 quarter-finals it would have been another blank cricket day for them

It will be seen that most of the County Championship is squeezed into April, May and September when wickets are usually at their most difficult for batsmen because of the generally cooler and damper weather. So even if England wanted to send players back to their counties for practise there is no first-class cricket for them to do it.

Most of June, July and August - the prime months for cricket - are given over almost entirely to white-ball cricket outside the test arena.

Todays' test match debacle was certainly an example of the paucity of technically efficient batsmen in England. The ill feeling that has been festering between the two sides for a number of years - centred around Anderson for comments he made about the Indian captain several years ago - also raised its head today with England's bowlers losing their heads at times and bowling short-pitched stuff at India's lower order batsmen in retaliation for earlier perceived attacks on them, instead of concentrating on bowling them out. The Indian lower order made hay whilst at the same time winding up some of the England bowlers to become even more erratic.

We can only hope that England responds quickly in the next test and that not only Root occupies the crease for a long time and scores a lot of runs in so doing.

Slightly off The Hundred topic but indirectly The Hundred is relevant to this.
 

JENNYJET

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I move that the Hundred tournament be restricted to an end of season competition whereby players can have fun with the traditional season be preserved with an emphasis upon First Class cricket with the intention of strengthening the Test Team before England are mentioned with Zimbabwe as examples of how to manage a national team!

All votes in favour gratefully received.
 
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