Over and out for old cricket runs
FIRST it was over for the over. Now the term “wicket” is heading for the pavilion.
The language of cricket is being rewritten for a competition aimed at luring new fans to the game. When The Hundred begins in England this year, the word “wicket” is set to be replaced with “out”.
It means the sport will be reduced to three simple concepts – runs, balls and outs, a term imported from baseball.
No longer will a team be described as being 93 runs for three wickets from 10 overs. Instead, it will be 75 runs from 60 balls for three outs. The competition, which will be played by eight new city-based teams set up by the England and Wales Cricket Board, announced last year it would be doing away with six-ball overs.
The Hundred will feature 100-ball innings with blocks of 10 balls bowled from alternate ends of the ground, with the 100 balls counted down on a big screen.
The ECB wants a large new TV audience and for BBC and Sky commentators to move away from traditional ways of describing the game. The tournament has been described as a gimmick by many cricket supporters, with concerns about a dumbing-down and “Americanisation” of cricket.