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Whenever the professional game comes out with a ‘radical’ new invention, it’s probably been happening for years in recreational cricket.
I also tend to run it through the NYSD filter. Has the North Yorkshire & South Durham Cricket League already thought of it?
In a progressive cricket league that isn’t afraid to innovate, teams are occasionally guinea pigs with cricket pads on.
While The Hundred is in its infancy, the North Yorkshire & South Durham Cricket League ran a 90-ball competition since 2005 called Fifteens. It was the first coloured clothing competition in UK club cricket.
According to NYSD President Chris West: ‘It fitted in well to our calendar in that matches could be played on an evening in late June, July and early August thus filling a ‘hole’ that many clubs had in their cup calendar with most other competitions generally completed by the end of June.’
He added: ‘It attracted a new audience and in the early days, large crowds for the group games. The Hundred gave us the chance to revisit and re-energise the Fifteens.’
2019: The Hundred launches in club cricket
The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) asked the NYSD if they’d trial The Hundred and clubs voted to convert the Fifteens format for the 2019 season.
Some 145 matches later across all Divisions and there were eye-catching records in the inaugural Teesside University NYSD Hundred competition. (Winners Billingham Synthonia pictured above).
Team scores of over 200 were being racked up with Marton’s 220-5 versus Great Ayton a fledgling record in the Premier Hundred. At the other end, Marske were shot out for 75 by Middlesborough.
Feedback from the NYSD has since made its way into this first edition of The Hundred.
The preference for counting down the score and using the overs on a scoreboard to show the balls left. Although ironically, the scoreboard at a pro version of The Hundred is a bewildering array of numbers, averages and calculations.
NYSD clubs also noted in their trial the need for an umpire’s signal after a bowling change after 5 balls. Partly for the on-field captain whose head must be spinning with permutations and partly for the crowd and Sky/BBC cameras.
I’m not convinced by the end result on TV of a white card being held up, reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain and his piece of paper.
When you’ve run out of fluorescent, flashing fonts and colours, as well as umpire signals, you’re literally left with nothing.
Refreshing too that their sponsor is a university and not 64 varieties of junk food. The ECB could learn more than just playing conditions of The Hundred from the NYSD, as it turns out.
For this year, the Collingwood 100 has been added to the calendar. In addition to the ‘normal’ Hundreds run at every level (Premier/ Div 1/ Div 2,3,4 / Sunday / Junior), this is 15 x 6-ball overs plus a final over of 10 to reach the hundred mark.
I like that it’s a ‘handicapped’ competition for first teams, with lower division sides gaining a runs handicap depending on the division they play in. A Division 3 first team would have a 48 run head start on a Premier team by way of example.
The Collingwood 100 was only established when somebody presented the NYSD with a long lost trophy that had previously been played for on a handicap basis in the 20th Century.
It has proved popular with the final between Thornaby and Richmondshire on August 4th – if you like, it’s another twist on The Hundred.
While debate rages in the professional game over The Hundred, in certain parts of Yorkshire, it’s already old news…
If you want to explore the NYSD website, their online pavilion is here: https://nysdl.play-cricket.com