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Thompson gives 100-ball format trials thumbs up

— 24 September 2018

Jordan Thompson has revealed that the players involved in the recent Hundred trial matches at Trent Bridge have suggested including a double runs over into each innings in order to help distinguish the format from Twenty20.

The all-rounder was one of three Yorkshire players involved in the trial days from Sunday to Tuesday.

The 21-year-old was joined by bowlers James Wainman and Karl Carver.

Thompson said: “It was interesting.

“The 100-ball format, going there and experiencing it with an open mind, it makes you see what impact it could have and how it could be good.

“Beforehand, a lot of the lads were unsure, a bit sceptical.

“But when people are trying to make the game better, you have to go with an open mind and try and make the game better and help them get what they can out of it.

“Coming away from it, you can see what it can offer.

“But there are still ways to improve it, and I’m sure there will be more trials to come.”

Thompson spoke about a number of new rules trialled, such as five-ball overs and 10 consecutive balls from one end and the option of a bowler bowling all 10 balls.

There was also free hits for wides, which was something that didn’t go down particularly well with the players, likewise a 30-second time limit for a new batsman to reach the crease.

Thompson was in favour of the new batsman facing the next ball after a wicket no matter how it fell. So, in essence, if a catch was taken and the batsmen crossed, the new batsman would take strike.
“That was quite a good rule,” he said.

“That helps the bowlers a bit more.

“Say you’re on a hat-trick and you get your second wicket, the new batsman has to come in and face hat-trick ball.

“If you have a set batsman facing on 80 off 40 odd balls, you haven’t got as much of a chance as a bowler.

“They went through various rules, including rolling subs.

“If you had a really good bowler who was a bad fielder, you could bowl him and then get a 12th man on who is a gun fielder. When you needed your bowler to bowl again, you could bring him back on.”

On the basics of the game, Thompson said: “It’s 20 five-ball overs, 10 balls from one end.

“So I’ll bowl five balls and then someone else can come on. But if I’ve bowled a really good over, I can stay on and bowl 10.

“A couple of lads did it, not so much seamers but spinners.

“I actually did do it on the last day, and a lot of the seamers reckoned that by the time you got to your seventh, eighth or ninth ball, you’re tired and can be lined up.

“The seamers who did it were just bowling slower balls at the end because it’s hard to bowl 10 balls at full pace.

“It was all interesting.

“We got there on Sunday and were batting first in the first game – it was all North v South – and we were 10-3 as a result of lads going out trying to whack it. But you have more time than you think. It’s still 100 balls.

“In the last game, we went ultra aggressive and ended up getting 197 off 100 balls. Ben Duckett got 60 odd, as did Will Fraine from Notts.

“It was good fun.

“I think around 140 is maybe a par score. Anything above is a bonus.

“Five balls in an over take a bit of getting used to.

“We played a 140 v 140 game, and I bowled the last over with them needing four.

“And I got it down to two off two balls.

“I was walking back to my mark thinking ‘I’ve got three balls to negotiate here, I’m struggling’. Then I looked at then board and realised it was two!

“Immediately, I thought ‘I’ve got a chance here’.

“We trialled wides as free hits, but that wasn’t popular.

“They also had a 30-second time limit on getting to the crease after a batsman is out, and we weren’t keen on that.

“This might seem trivial to some, but we felt it didn’t give you time to celebrate a wicket. And that adds to the excitement of a game.

“Think about Jack Leaning’s boundary catch, one-handed, in the Roses game at Headingley last year.

“With 30 seconds, he’d have had to just chuck it back and say ‘Let’s get on with it’. But celebrations can add to the excitement of it.

“We felt they didn’t need to cut the time down that drastically.”

Each day consisted of two games, with Tuesday also including a 50-ball game: “I’m not sure what the thinking behind that was, but it was quick! It was done in about an hour and 10 minutes,” said Thompson.

“There’s a lot of social media stuff ‘It’s rubbish, I hate it, what are we doing?’ But it’s each to their own. You have to experience it.

“In my opinion, is it that much different to T20? With the rules we used in the trial, probably not.

“If they introduced it now and people went to a game thinking they were going to something different, they would probably come away thinking ‘It’s not that different to T20 – what has it got to offer?’

“That’s what they wanted from us, honest feedback.

“We were throwing out various suggestions to try and make it a bit more exclusive.

“One of those was why not give the batting team the chance to call a five-ball set between 30 balls and 70 balls and you get a double over.

“If you hit a six, it’s 12. But to balance it out, if you lose a wicket then it’s minus five as well.

“That’s something we suggested but didn’t try.

“I’m sure they will have a think about it because it adds a bit more entertainment.

“It adds a bit more to it like when teams had to decide when to take their bowling power plays a few years ago in one-day cricket.

“The ECB gave us free rein to say exactly what we thought. From my opinion, there’s stuff to work with, although it’s nowhere near the finished product.”

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