The Hundred: ECB reveals playing conditions

The Hundred: ECB reveals playing conditions

February 21, 2019

The England and Wales Cricket Board has unveiled the main playing conditions for its new 100-ball format, which will be called The Hundred.

Set to launch next year, the new event was pushed through by a vote of 17-1 from the 18 first-class counties, when a two-thirds majority was required.

While the eight grounds for the franchise tournament were confirmed 12 months ago, and a player draft has been scheduled for the autumn, there is no further detail yet on news of the teams – or whether they will incorporate cities or regions. The event will take place during a five-week period in the summer of 2020.

But the ECB have confirmed a format of 100 balls per side, with a change of ends after every 10 deliveries.

Bowlers will deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls but are restricted to a maximum of 20 per match, while each fielding side gets a strategic timeout of up to two and a half minutes.

A 25-ball powerplay will start each side’s innings, where only two fielders will be allowed outside the initial 30-yard circle.

Many of these innovations were piloted across six days last September at Loughborough and Nottingham’s Trent Bridge – one of the eight venues along with Lord’s, The Oval, the Ageas Bowl, Edgbaston, Sophia Gardens, Headingley and Old Trafford.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: “There has been overwhelming support from the game to make the transition from the new competition to The Hundred.

“Signing off the playing conditions is a significant moment. Another staging post before player draft at the end of the year.

“There’s a huge summer of stuff ahead of us. Work is being done at the moment on the team identities.

“There’s a lot of research into building authenticity on those identities, so people can relate to them from those communities and beyond. We’ll work hard to make sure the timing is right, so it doesn’t butt up against other priorities.”

The new format will be added to a busy summer schedule and has not escaped criticism from some quarters but Harrison is confident it will prove popular.

“It’s already a successful event in terms of not just finances but the excitement generated,” he said.

“I’m very confident the game will get behind us. We’ve done a lot of work to understand concerns from fans and we’re listening to those concerns.”

Big-hitting West Indies batsman Chris Gayle this week said he would be willing to feature in the new tournament if drafted.

Harrison added: “We’d love to have Chris involved, I’m keen to have a conversation and see what he thinks.

“He’s played in probably all the major tournaments around the world, and his view is very much worth listening to, [in order to] see how we can make this even more exciting.

“I think players will want to play in this. We’ll demonstrate an ambition behind this that is very pure and can enhance players’ skills under pressure.

“We’ll make it attractive to players to come and play.”

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