By Adam Ellis
England Test captain Joe Root has backed the ECB’s proposal for the new city-orientated 100-ball league to become a success.
The ECB revealed last week the introduction of a new T20 league, as originally planned, in 2020 will instead see a new 100-ball format endorsed; working as 15 regular overs to be bowled before a 10-ball over to end the inning’s climax.
ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss is on a mission to simplify cricket to extend the sport’s reach across England and Wales following next year’s Cricket World Cup, targetting ‘mums and kids’ to take an interest during the summer holidays.
And in an interview with the i newspaper, Yorkshire batsman Root said it was important for the game to find a balance once the new league begins.
“It’s going to appeal to a completely new audience and I think that’s great; the more people and kids we can get into sport, the better.
“We’ve got to be very careful we don’t measure it against the other formats. It’s something to gather a new audience and gain interest, not a threat to other formats.
“As players, working with the ICC, we’ve got to make sure the other formats don’t suffer but it has a place in the game and, hopefully, we’ll see that over time.
“There will be people that compare it to Twenty20 and worry it might take away interest from Test cricket, but it’s important to remember it will bring new people to the game.
“It might be someone who didn’t know much about the game before and then goes on to watch a Test match and gets immersed in that. That’s the way I’d like to look at it.”