One of the aims of The Hundred, we are told, is to ‘simplify’ cricket – to open the game up to those left bewildered by the mere mention of a googly, or confused by what fielding at silly mid-off means.
It’s a laudable aim. Cricket is indeed a strange beast to the uninitiated, something I can attest to having recently tried to explain the sport to a Russian colleague – but can The Hundred actually simplify the game?
It was all going so well.
England were the team to beat.
The impending World Cup taking place in their own backyard.
The happy campers of Hi-de-Hi! had nothing on their dressing room spirit.
Then Jason Roy had back spasms, and fringe-squad member Sam Billings dislocated his shoulder. ‘Oh it’s England just before a World Cup’ we laughed.
And then it really was England just before a World Cup…
Despite being the current standard bearers in women’s cricket, it looks like no Australian’s will be taking part in the upcoming Women’s T20 Challenge in Jaipur.
While players from England, New Zealand and the West Indies will all appear in the three-team mini tournament, which takes place in the shadow of the IPL Playoffs, the absence of Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning et al was quickly noted.
The reason for their omission seems even more petty than one might at first imagine.
The 2019 Royal London One Day Cup begins on Wednesday, and will be done and dusted in a little over five weeks.
Scheduled as something of a lead-in to the World Cup – which starts five-days after the RLODC Final – this quick turn around should be seen as a boon for the competition, and yet it still suffers at the hands of the ECB.
The sword of Damocles is, of course, The Hundred – the new city-based competition which will come into being from 2020 and relegate the RLODC to second-tier status. But even as a sort of ‘last hurrah’ for the tournament, the 2019 RLODC has been questionably laid out.
In an absolutely peak county cricket set of circumstances, round 2 of the 2019 County Championship featured some teams playing their first ‘Champo’ game of the season(?!), while others looked to build on/recover from the previous week.
Far from exhaustive, here’s the One Stump Short wrap-up: