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The Hundred could feature 12-15 players a-side – reports

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Teams in the ECB’s new 100-ball competition to comprise of 12 or even 15 players, according to reports.

Radical proposals being considered would allow each team to substitute a bowler for a batsman or pick a specialist hitter who wouldn’t have to field – similar to the ‘Super Sub’ rule trialled – and subsequently dropped – in ODIs from 2005. Teams would still need to have just 11 for batting and 11 for fielding.

The ECB have been ready to flout various tenets of the game in developing their 100-ball idea, including the six-ball over. After the final 10-ball over plan was reportedly ditched, latest rumours suggest the tournament will be comprised of either 10 10-ball overs or 20 five-ball overs (with two in succession bowled from an end to save time).

Increasing the number of players allowed to feature, according to reports in the Times and the Telegraph, is designed to maximise the involvement of the best players, allowing teams to pick all their best overseas and England stars without regard for the balance of the team. The IPL often sees top stars left out.

It could also allow excellent ‘specialist hitters’ – a term borrowed from baseball – who are poor fielders a chance of selection and an extended career, or the inclusion of five specialist wicket-taking bowlers.

The much-debated new tournament begins in July 2020 and will be played in a five-week window, with 36 matches in 38 days culminating in a final at the end of August.

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