The new Hundred competition “is a huge opportunity if we do things a bit differently to get hold of a much wider audience”, says England and Wales Cricket Board boss Tom Harrison.
It will take place over a five-week period from July 2020, with some matches televised live on the BBC.
Purists have questioned the format, which has 100 balls per innings and a change of ends after 10 deliveries.
The format features eight city-based sides, with men’s and women’s teams.
It is designed to be completed in two and a half hours. In addition, there will be an American Football-style player draft for the men’s competition, which will be held on 20 October, with cricket becoming the first major British sport to adopt such a system.
“It’s an opportunity for us to think slightly differently and present the game in a way that enables many millions of fans who potentially haven’t had the opportunity to be part of the game to come in,” ECB chief executive Harrison told 5 Live’s Tuffers and Vaughan.
“We know there are 10.5 million people out there who potentially would be part of this cricket community if we were able to make the game appeal to them in a way we know we can, through presenting it on TV, through digital channels in a different way, getting young people and kids involved in a different way.
“The three audiences we know we can get hold of are young people, sporty families and diverse communities who have got a huge passion for the game.
“The Hundred is going to be positioned as family entertainment, watching world-class cricket with the world’s best players in both men’s and women’s competitions and get in and out of the ground within two and a half hours. That’s the plan.”
Asked about the cost of the new competition to families, Harrison said: “It will be affordable and linked much closer to county cricket than internationals.
“We want fans to be genuinely excited by the calibre of cricket being played, it will be played at a time of year when families can go and see it – in the school holidays, July to August – and I think cricket fans will absolutely love this.”
The Hundred format
- 100 balls per innings.
- A change of ends after 10 balls.
- Bowlers deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls.
- Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per game.
- Each bowling side gets a strategic timeout of up to two and a half minutes.
- A 25-ball powerplay start for each team.
- Two fielders are allowed outside of the initial 30-yard circle during the powerplay.