Latest Cricket News: ECB in talks with T10 League owners to introduce 10-over games in domestic circuit

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  • ECB is exploring the possibility of incorporating a 10-over format in its domestic game
  • The English board has already announced plans of a brand new tournament called “The Hundred”

In Latest Cricket News, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has held talks with owners and organisers of the inaugural T10 League held in UAE last year to introduce a similar playing format in the English domestic circuit in the coming time.

ECB executive met the owner of T10 league

ESPNCricinfo has reported that ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison met Shaji Ul Mulk, the founder of the T10 league in March this year and the duo discussed the possibility of making the format viable in England. The ECB also recently announced plans for a radical new format by the name of “The Hundred” which has faced widespread criticism in recent days.

Also, there is no hint whatsoever that the board is trying to replace “The Hundred” with a brand new T10 format. England’s domestic calendar is already very crowded with counties playing each other in the red-ball format, 50-overs competition and the popular T20 Blast as well. The proposed addition of “The Hundred” and this T10 league will only raise more eyebrows.

The report further states that the T10 format might be under consideration as an extension of the ECB’s wide-ranging participation remit, to be treated as a separate entity, much like Rugby Sevens, with a view to bridging the gap between the recreational and professional games.

Further, the ECB has also been on a determined fact-finding mission so as to leave no stone unturned as they formulate their vision for the game from 2020 onwards. March’s meeting in Dubai could well have been an attempt on that front. Women’s softball is understood to be another sport from which officials have recently sought learnings.

However, the ECB’s own working party examining the future structure of the game denied any prior knowledge of the meeting in Dubai and England’s Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) also had a similar stance.

Coming to the inaugural T10 league, the competition was organised by the Emirates Cricket Board and was played in Sharjah in December last year. The tournament was deemed as a considerable success and a second season is already in the pipeline, with the format set to be expanded from six teams to eight for the 2018 edition. Also, the event will be played out over ten days instead of four this year.

The status of the ECB’s new city-based competition is currently up in the air, with the original proposal for The Hundred – 15 six-ball overs and a solitary ten-ball over – being scrapped following opposition from the PCA.

Recent reports suggest that the concept could be tweaked to 20 five-ball overs, with the option of a single bowler completing ten balls in a row if the match situation warranted it.

Were it to be considered as a direct replacement for the Hundred, T10 would at least retain cricket’s traditional parameters. Also, given that the ECB’s own findings suggest that the length of matches is the most off-putting aspect of the sport as it stands, the move from 120 balls in an innings to 60 would presumably meet the criteria for attracting a new audience.

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