The ECB has announced that they are abolishing overs in their new “100-ball” tournament to be launched next year.
The concept of an “over” is one of the oldest laws in cricket. After six balls the fielding team switches ends, and a different bowler is selected to bowl from the opposite end – crucially, no bowler may bowl two overs in succession.
But in order to simplify cricket for a new generation, the ECB have decided to abolish overs and replace them with “ends”. Under these new simplified rules, the fielding team will change ends after ten balls, but they can opt to change bowlers either half way through an end (or not) while a bowler may bowl in successive ends, as long as they don’t exceed 20 balls.
As Theresa May might say: Simples!
Additionally, in order to add to the drama and cram matches into the two hour window required by the tournament’s free-to-air broadcaster the BBC, the new competition’s playing conditions will include time-outs. These will shorten the game and ram-up the excitement, by adding several minutes during which very little will happen.
While many of these changes are aimed at
people who don’t really like cricket mums and kids, the ECB will ensure that its existing fanbase feels a sense of continuity and buy-in, by abolishing all the existing teams and replacing them with new ones further away. Fans of the most successful men’s counties, like Essex who regularly sell out Chelmsford, and current Blast Champions Worcestershire, will be able to select from one of eight new teams to support, with a range of lovely replica shirts, in gorgeous primary colours, to choose from.
Last year’s April Fools piece, which suggested that the Australian team were going to have GPS chips surgically implanted into their bodies, led to the editor fielding a stern call from a representative of Cricket Australia, demanding to know our source for the story. The editor would like to make it clear therefore that this story is just a made-up joke in the great tradition of April Fools hoaxes and is obviously not going to happen!