Bthen it’s not the format that matters to me in particular, but the competitiveness of the game, the excellence of the game and the desire for cricket to convert an audience that has not seen free-to-air TV for 17 myopic years access to the game has gained its charms. We need to find a way to address the absence of cricket in the shared, national experience and desert that public school sport has become for the game and in that endeavor I make a point, as Sir Arnold Bax advised, to experience to try once, except incest and folk dancing.
I just said size doesn’t count, it’s so unusual, at least superficially, that I have to run through the basics:
- Each side has 100 balls to face and deliver with each innings not exceeding 65 minutes.
- Ten balls will be bowled from each end and the umpire will signal after the first set of five to allow the captain to decide whether the bowler will persist and bowl a full 10 or switch to another bowler. Each bowler is allowed a maximum of 20 throws in the match.
- If a batter is struck out, the new batter is shown the next ball, regardless of whether his predecessor has crossed with the non-striker.
- The power play lasts 25 balls during which time only two field players may be placed outside the 30 yard circle and each bowling side may have one 90 second time-out during which the coach may enter the field to discuss tactics with their players.
- Contrary to pre-tournament rumours, lbw has not been abolished and wide will not be penalized with free hits.
- If a team is unable to pitch their last five balls of the innings within 65 minutes, one less fielder is allowed outside the fielding restricted area.
- No drink breaks are allowed.
- Each team is allowed a maximum of one failed DRS rating per innings
In the two teams for the opening game, note the big hitters of last year’s champion Braves James Vince, Quinton de Kock and Alex Davies plus their awesome bowling lineup including Jake Lintott’s chicken teeth English left arm wrist spider and marries George Garton and Chris Jordan.
Welsh Fire will not have their captain Jonny Bairstow available after all as he has retired this summer to take a breather after 12 international whiteball matches and four Tests, but they do have their best batsman from last year, Ben Duckett, who is second only to the phenomenal Liam Livingstone in looting points, and the big hitters Tom Banton, Joe Clarke and David Miller. Australian leggie Adam Zampa will take on his mate Marcus Stoinis and Naseem Shah, who has a bowling action as close to Dennis Lillee’s as anyone I’ve seen in 40 years, to deliver the pace like (Welsh) fire .