REVEALED: Cricket’s controversial ‘Hundred’ format ‘to name wickets “Outs”‘ in a move that could reshape the terminology of the game when the tournament begins in July
- Changing the term is one of many proposed changes before the new tournament
- Move is likely to spark widespread anger among traditional die-hard supporters
- The Hundred is set to begin in 100 days on June 21 at Surrey’s ground, the Oval
The term ‘wickets’ is reportedly set to be replaced by ‘outs’ in the new Hundred cricket format, launching in July.
English cricket’s top brass could overhaul some of the sport’s traditional terminology ahead of the controversial 100-ball franchise tournament in an attempt to make the game more accessible to new audiences and potential supporters.
According to the Telegraph, wickets will be called outs, and batsmen will be described as batters in the men’s format – the latter is unlikely to spark widespread anger, but the former is likely to be anathema to long-standing, die-hard fans.
The Hundred is a new 100-ball franchise cricket tournament set to begin in 100 days on July 21
The format will include England stars including Eoin Morgan (centre) and Jason Roy (right)
Removing the term wickets would totally change how scoring is described, with a team potentially having 65 runs off 25 balls for three outs rather than 65 for three wickets off 25 balls, while a bowler could still be said to have taken a wicket, but his competition total would be 20 outs off 120 balls, for example.
Outs is a term used in baseball, but ‘out’ is already widely used in cricket so is being seen as a valid potential change.
While the ECB will not invent a totally new vocabulary, they want to balance keeping existing words where possible with simplicity for people who may be coming across cricket for the first time.
But the ECB are set to make several controversial moves, changing the term ‘wickets’ to ‘outs’
Although nothing has been confirmed and numerous different proposals are being considered by the ECB and broadcasters, market research has shown the complex and often esoteric terminology is one of the biggest things putting off new fans.
Runs, balls and outs will be the key terms in the Hundred, and commentators will be encouraged rather than ordered to use new words. Making batsmen gender neutral has already been partially adopted, with third man potentially also to be axed.
Scorecards will need changing to reflect the new format, with changes of ends after 10 balls rather than at the end of six-ball overs, with bowlers able to send down either five or 10 deliveries in a row, and a countdown clock is also being discussed.
Bowlers like Jofra Archer (left) or Moeen Ali (right) could be said to have three outs in 15 balls
The ideas were positively met in thorough focus group testing, sparking the ECB’s desire for decisive change, despite likely opposition from the usual fanbase.
Traditionalists are generally sceptical about the introduction of the Hundred, which holds its curtain-raiser in 100 days on July 21 when the women’s competition begins at Surrey’s ground the Oval.
Sky Sports have already signed up Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad, Ebony Rainford-Brent, David Lloyd, Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton, Mark Butcher, Rob Key, Ian Ward and Nick Knight as pundits and commentators.
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