Thank god for some live sport for some blog content.
Today, I’m looking at the new cricket format. The Hundred.
For those that haven’t watched it, it is a simple content of 100 balls to each team and the team that scores the most wins. Couldn’t be more simple than that. However, for those that love the game of cricket the change of an over from six balls to five was very controversial.
I’ll admit, I enjoyed watching the Hundred – and it seems as those there were a lot of children in the crowd – so it probably has helped cricket to reach a new audience. But then again, I did enjoy watching The Ashes as a child, but that was when sport was free to view on BBC – more on that problem here.
Did I enjoy the hundred more than T20? Probably not. There’s not all that many differences between the two but the men and women’s teams played back to back games which did help to boost exposure to women’s cricket. So much so, the final broke records for the domestic women’s game with a crowd of 17,000+. Did cricket need a fourth format to promote women’s cricket? Again, probably not. Football seems to have promoted the women’s game thanks to the recent world cup getting good air time, rather than creating a brand new format.
Cricket also tried to make itself seem a little more accessible to the whole spectrum of fans by integrating a half time show – I’m not sure if it was modelled on the Super Bowl, but I like to think sport is the attraction.
I’m sure the new format was great for pombears, butterkiss, hula hoops and other savoury snack brands who sponsored the teams. For some, it’s put cricket back on the agenda of conversation, but I’m not sure it’s quite taken cricket from zero to hero with everyone just yet. There’s definitely some merits in revisiting the rules and seeing where things can be better, but some fundamental changes from six to five balls within an over might be a bit too far.