100 ball format introduced to lift television viewership, reckons Graeme Swann

The format will come into play on 2020.

Swann shared his views on the 100 ball format. (IANS)

The cricketing world is gushing over the 100 ball format newly introduced by the ECB which will be put into use from 2020 is the new domestic format and has taken the cricketing world by storm. 

ECB Chairman Colin Graves earlier said that the board is introducing the format as an effort to appeal to the younger audience who are now preferring T20 format over the other formats of the game. 

However, contrary to his opinion, former England spinner Graeme Swann said that the board is getting in this new format to lift up the television viewership. 

“It will be exactly the same as T20 cricket if they get the world’s best players in it,” Swann said on ESPN Cricinfo's Talking T20 podcast.

“There’s the thing that Colin Graves is barking on about: ‘It’s because kids don’t like cricket.’ They do, Colin. Turn up at my cricket club where I take my son on a Friday night -- there’s 150 kids every week."

“(Hundred-ball cricket) is being done very blatantly to fit the TV (schedules), since there is only a small window to get the game on, so they’ve tried to squeeze it in.”

There has been much talk about the “concept” for England’s new short-form competition planned in 2020 with the players still to get fully on board.

Although the reduction from 20 overs (or 120 balls) per innings is minimal, it is thought the change will help to ensure games fit comfortably into a three-hour window, with all matches expected to finish by 9 p.m.

“It’s because of the TV rights,” Swann said while pinpointing the reason as to why the ECB has accepted to this change. 

“We need to get participation and need to get it on TV, so they are ready to give them small time slots like they do for football games. So they want to squeeze it into 100 balls (for these reasons)."

Swann also spoke on why more Australians are picked over English players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.

“The difference between what the English players are worth (at the IPL) compared to the Australians who have gone for massively high prices is that Australian cricket has been the best in the world for a long time, so people automatically think they are better than everyone else.”

“They are not necessarily better, but that’s the perception at the minute. With all due respect to the people spending the money, they are not savvy cricket minds,” he said.

“(A lot of) the coaches are Australian, so they pick, I won’t say their friends, but they pick the players they trust and coach in Australia. But trust me, in the next ten years, you’ll end up with truly multinational teams everywhere, because the best players will end up in the same places,” Swann concluded saying. 


By Anshuman Roy - 21 May, 2018

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