‘It’s NOT baseball!’ Fans slate ‘ridiculous’ plans to ‘Americanise’ cricket by replacing ‘wickets and batsmen’ with ‘outs and batters’ in their flashy new Hundred tournament because they don’t think the public understand ‘complex’ terms
- ‘Wickets’ could be replaced by ‘outs’ in terminology for the Hundred competition
- ECB believes the changes will make the sport more attractive to new audiences
- But former players and fans are unhappy with the ‘Americanisation’ of cricket
- The Hundred concept has already irked traditionalists by ditching the counties and reducing the number of balls bowled
Former Test spinner Brad Hogg has joined fans criticising the ECB for its controversial plans to rewrite cricket terminology for its glitzy new Hundred competition — with ‘wickets’ being replaced by the baseball term ‘outs’ and ‘batsmen’ becoming ‘batters’.
WHAT IS ‘THE HUNDRED’?
Dreamt up as a way of taking cricket to a new generation of fans, The Hundred has already irked traditionalists because each team only bowls 100 deliveries – as opposed to 120 in a T20 game
The counties are being replaced by eight regional franchises: Birmingham Phoenix, London Spirit, Oval Invincibles, Manchester Originals Northern Superchargers, Trent Rockets, Southern Brave and Welsh Fire.
The tournament was due to launch last summer but was delayed because of Covid-19
The ECB believes the changes will make the sport more appealing to the new supporters they want to attract when the tournament begins in July.
Focus groups have reportedly told organisers the traditional language of cricket can be too ‘complex’ – a complaint utterly rejected by Australian Hogg and supporters on social media.
He has slammed the perceived Americanisation of the sport and has accused the ECB of ‘tampering’ with tradition.
‘The Hundred changing “wickets” to “outs” for dismissals is a little too much,’ Hogg tweeted.
‘Cricket is not baseball. It’s enough the changes in formats to tamper with the terminology!’
Another agreed that cricket should not try to copy baseball, posting: ‘I wasn’t a***d about the hundred, but this tips me over the edge. It’s not baseball!!!’
One other user sarcastically added the ECB’s next move will be to rename the sport, adding: ‘Probably rename the game to Baseball as well. Ridiculous in the name of innovation.’
The Hundred is a new 100-ball franchise cricket tournament set to begin in 100 days on July 21
Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg has led the criticism of the ECB’s terminology changes
Others slammed the body’s use of market research and sarcastically claimed newcomers won’t be able to understand what a wicket is, claiming cricket’s terminology is also a test of intelligence.
One wrote: ‘Cricket fans, so in the new Hundred competition, the ECB wants to replace the word ‘wickets’ with ‘outs’ – like in baseball.
Several controversial moves for the competition include changing the term ‘wickets’ to ‘outs’. Pictured are (left-right) Gary Kirsten, head coach of Welsh Fire, Jonny Bairstow of Welsh Fire and Ravi Bopara of Birmingham Phoenix
‘The idea is based on market research coz people can’t understand what a wicket is. Stop it ECB. Cricket is not just a game, it’s an intelligence test.’
However, many pundits have offered little on the changes despite their often outspoken views on Twitter.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan replied to the news with the words ‘Like it,’ followed by two thumbs up emojis and a wink face emoji.
He did remain somewhat coy however, following his initial tweet up by posing the question to his followers: ‘So it’s going to be “Outs” rather than “wickets” for the #Hundred tournament !!! What do we all think ? Too much change or pretty cool ??’
One cricket fan did not mince his words when replying to Vaughan, stating: ‘Hundred tournament will be a complete failure.. mark these words.’
Nevertheless, others appeared to suggest the controversial introduction of the new terms will not curb their excitement for the inaugural tournament later this summer.
One added: ‘I’m looking forward to The Hundred. I’m not OK with “outs”. I feel better for sharing that.’
The Hundred has already scrapped traditional six-ball overs and instead there will be 10 balls from an end, delivered by one or two bowlers, before a switch to the other end and a clock counting down from a hundred balls.
Many of Sky Sports’ star-studded line-up for the competition – including England 2005 Ashes heroes Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff as well as current fast bowler Stuart Broad – have remained silent on the changes.
The trio will form part of a commentary team from former players from all around the world that will be encouraged to use the new terminology.
Traditionalists have also been up in arms about the teams who will play in the Hundred, with long-established county cricket clubs replaced by newly-formed franchises such as Northern Superchargers, Welsh Fire and Oval Invincibles.