'They've reduced by mere 20 balls, a format that was extremely popular with players': Ian Chappell on The Hundred
The England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) The Hundred tournament is currently going on with much fanfare. The unique format sees both the team face 100 balls each with new sets of rules for the players. Players like Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Rashid Khan, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, and Jonny Bairstow are taking part in the tournament. Women's cricket matches are also taking place simultaneously in the Hundred with five Indian players featuring across women’s teams - Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues.
However, former Australia captain Ian Chappell reckons that the T20 format is enough to take the sport into the Olympics and the newest addition 'The Hundred' was not really needed.
The first match of The Hundred was played between the women's teams of Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals on July 21.
The Hundred is a 100-ball cricket competition that is seeing (both men and women) featuring in the tournament.
"Apart from reducing the number of balls to obtain a terrestrial television deal, the reasoning behind the Hundred could well be that it improves the chances of cricket fulfilling the Olympic dream. This is often cited as a way to spread the game's popularity to a wider audience. Surely the T20 format could achieve that same outcome without yet another reduction," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNcricinfo.
"Cricket is a team game ideally played by 11 members a side. Performance satisfaction is a big reason why youngsters fall in love with the game. Administrators would do well to remember that before they rush into devising shorter forms of the game. The more the length of an innings is reduced, the greater chance that there will be players "just making up the numbers". Even those players crave occasional performance satisfaction," he added.
Further talking about the new format, Chappell said: "Throughout my playing career I believed there were two possible solutions to a problem: a simple one and a complicated one. I also believed that to the benefit of Australia, England would regularly choose the complicated solution. They've done it again."
"To overcome the perceived problem of public not fully conversant with cricket, they've concocted another form of the game - The Hundred. That's right, they've reduced by a mere 20 balls a format that was extremely popular with players and the public," he added.
(with ANI inputs)