Australian news May 26, 2011

Big Bash may feature 'super over'

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Runs would be doubled in a designated "super-over" and spectators allowed to take home balls hit into the crowd under proposed rules for Australia's new Big Bash League next summer.

Cricket fans have been asked to comment on a range of possible tweaks to the rules governing Twenty20, many of which are designed to boost scoring rates in the eight-team competition, which is expected to kick off in December.

Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia's head of marketing and the BBL project owner, has made no secret of his desire to spice up the T20 tournament, which will feature city-based sides such as the Brisbane Heat, and two each in Melbourne and Sydney. One of the most unusual suggestions is for each team to be given one super-over, which would likely be nominated by the batting side before the start of the over.

Cricket Australia's survey states the idea, in which the runs from that over alone would be doubled, was intended "to provide both teams an opportunity to get back into the game". The cricket statistician Ric Finlay, who runs the Tastats website, said introducing such a rule would cause some distortion in the record-books, but it was likely the games could still be designated official Twenty20 matches.

"It is true to say that other interventions have distorted outcomes, including fielding restrictions and powerplays and penalties for no balls," Finlay told ESPNcricinfo, "but this innovation seems on the face of it to be departing more radically from what we know as traditional cricket than anything else that has gone on before. The factor that may allow these matches to be included in records of all T20 matches is the generally-accepted status of all T20 cricket to be a gimmicky form of the game where almost anything goes."

The advantages for the batsmen might not end there. "Based on increasing scoring and making the game more exciting", as the survey says, the 12th man could be allowed to enter the batting order as a kind of pinch hitter, in a similar setup to the super-sub rule that was used in one-day internationals several years ago.

There is also a proposal to allow only one fielder outside the circle in the first five overs of an innings, leaving bowlers little room for error. Two men could be used outside the circle from overs 6 to 10, three fielders from overs 11 to 15, and four men during the final five overs of an innings.

And if those ideas don't create enough of a challenge for bowlers, they may also need to get used to several changed balls throughout an innings. A baseball-style rule is being considered whereby fans would be able to keep a ball that clears the fence, meaning that with many sixes - and the Big Bash record is 14 in an innings - a new ball would be given to the bowler.

However, it's not all bad news for bowlers - allowing two bouncers per over is also a possibility, to allow bowlers a little extra room to attack. The Big Bash League is slowly taking shape, but several key steps remain to be resolved, including the recruitment of players to the eight sides and the part private ownership of two of the Melbourne and Sydney teams.

To take the survey and comment on the proposed rules, click here.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on May 27, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    I understand everyone being upset about these changes CA are proposing but 20/20 cricket is a totally different game from the traditional test matches we love . I personally think anything to make 20/20 more exciting for the crowds is a great move , and once we have the new comers interested they will hopefully see REAL cricket and become fans of the real stuff

  • dummy4fb on May 27, 2011, 2:36 GMT

    Lets turn cricket into a complete joke. That was the idea behind all these changes. I have a rule for them as when i was a kid playing bat and ball(not cricket) every time the batsman hits the ball he must run at least 1 run. with all the fielders in the circle it would make for a lot of exciting run outs when the batsman get anything on the ground inside the circle Did someone say baseball?

  • Jim1207 on May 27, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Guys, cool. This is all a conspiracy by all cricket boards to make fans love Test Cricket more. Long live Test Matches!

  • Philvdk on May 27, 2011, 1:46 GMT

    While they are at it let's include one over of underarm bowling and the one bounce one handed catch rule. The more crap innovations the better. That way the game will disappear quicker. Then we can get back to reality again with proper cricket.

  • fazald on May 27, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Though the BBL concept doesn't appeal to me at all I for one would support my state or adopted country rather than any team put together virtually for entertainment to earn a fast buck.Teams should be represented by their state side with a sprinkling of overseas players.

  • Looch on May 27, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    A stupid, pointless idea for a stupid, pointless competition. I hope Sutherland and McKenna lose their jobs over this travesty.

  • cricsavvy on May 26, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    ICC,BCCI,CA - all are hell bent to destroy the beautiful game of cricket. One super idea for BBL - get the scantily dressed cheerleaders of the opposition team bowl so that more sixes are scored thereby pulling in more crowd. Night cricket, pink balls - what is happening with people governing cricket. Once this happens, I will stop watching cricket. I will collect all the videos of old classics and always live in the past watching them.

  • Meety on May 26, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    I hope everybody has gone & used the online questionairre, otherwise their comments (as funny as some are, loved the MasterChef comment), will be worth nothing! -- -- -- I wish they had an online survey about Oz cricket in general! LOL!

  • Trivalve on May 26, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    Let's just play baseball and be done with it

  • dummy4fb on May 26, 2011, 23:12 GMT

    Remember sitting with your friends or even a stranger, reminiscing about a Test or an ODI ? Maybe about an individual performance or a partnership ? The way it's all going (pear shaped) it will be a thing of the past. T20's just don't have that kind of long lasting impact. Also, as a player of the sport, I couldn't imagine growing up with T20 as the main form of the game. Who on earth would want to be a bowler?

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