Australia news

Sheffield Shield points system overhauled

Daniel Brettig

June 3, 2014

Comments: 5 | Text size: A | A

Ryan Carters struck a defiant 84, South Australia v New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, Adelaide, 4th day, March 6, 2014
Teams will be rewarded for early runs in the Sheffield Shield © Getty Images
Related Links

Sheffield Shield points system

  • Outright win: 6 points (no change)
  • Draw: 1 point (previously 0)
  • 1st innings win: 0 points (previously 2)
  • Bonus batting
  • First 100 overs: .01 for every run above 200
  • Example: 350 runs in the first 100 overs = 1.5 points. Batting points are uncapped until 100 overs
  • Bonus bowling
  • First 100 overs: 0.5 points awarded at fall of fifth wicket, seventh wicket and ninth wicket
  • Example: 8 wickets in first 100 overs = 1 point. Bowling points capped at 1.5
  • After first 100 overs, no further bonus points available to either team

Concerns about the state of Australian batting have helped usher in a new system of bonus points for first-innings runs, wickets and draws in the Sheffield Shield, under a two-year trial to be conducted from next summer.

As ESPNcricinfo reported last week, the Shield's points system will be overhauled to allow teams to gather extra points for runs scored and wickets taken in the first 100 overs of their first innings.

Borrowing from equations used in the first-class domestic competitions of England and South Africa, the new regulations will offer 0.01 of a point for each run scored beyond 200 within 100 overs, and 0.5 of a point for the taking of the fifth, seventh and ninth wickets.

In addition to still gaining six points for an outright win, teams will also be awarded one point for a drawn match, providing some incentive for batting out the final day of a match when victory is out of the question.

The introduction of bonus points has been championed by Cricket Australia's team performance manager Pat Howard, following last season's encouragement to curators to prepare drier pitches after a trend towards grassy, result-oriented strips in preceding summers.

"The Australian Team Performance Review asked us to look at ways to improve and that's what we're doing; we want to mirror the style international cricket is played and see results," Howard said. "We see these alterations to the points system as complementing the work we did with curators over the last 12 months to ensure there are fewer sporting wickets and an even contest between bat and ball.

"As recently as this month, the new national selector [Rod Marsh] highlighted a national issue with batting and therefore it is a necessity to continue to get the balance between bat and ball closer. Ultimately, we want our batsmen scoring plenty of runs and bowlers taking wickets with the game played in an entertaining and attacking style, but pushed to the limit.

"Some may ask why then we're rewarding a drawn match now and that's simply because we want teams being rewarded for showing some real fight when it's needed on the last day, just like Test cricket. We are aware that bonus points and first-innings points do not exist in Test cricket, therefore this is about the style of play in the first innings. Both teams can get points, not just one team in the first innings. The team that wins the game will be well rewarded."

The national team coach Darren Lehmann, himself a winner of the Shield under the old system as a player with Victoria and South Australia then more recently as coach of Queensland, said he favoured incentives for attractive, aggressive cricket.

"From my point of view as a past state coach I think it's a positive move and as Australian coach it's great to see the players perform under pressure in the first innings and also the second innings. We're going to have more results which is great for the game," Lehmann said. "We don't want to tinker with the system too much; it's just a little change. It'll make attractive and aggressive cricket and you'll see more results in Shield cricket which is great."

Darren Berry, the South Australia coach, struck a note of cautious approval in his response to the changes, which had been broadly canvassed among state associations since the Cricket Australia board approved the implementation of a new system in March.

"We still have to do our own analysis of the new points system, but things look promising at this stage," Berry said. "I'm in favour for any change which will result in a more exciting brand of cricket, so it is excellent to see that there are incentives for quicker first innings and outright victories."

The changes are more subtle than heavy-handed, with the results of the past three Shield seasons said to have been unaltered by retrospective use of the points system.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ILogic on (June 4, 2014, 2:19 GMT)

I wonder if our "Numbers Game" gurus could analyse last season and see what would be different in the Shield Table using the new and old systems?

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (June 3, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

All they need to do is to have 5 day matches and then there would be no need for bonus points.

Posted by scottyg on (June 3, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

Bonus points is a joke, you'll just see players of limited ability getting selected so they can slog a few runs in the last 10 overs of the restrictions....

Posted by   on (June 3, 2014, 7:56 GMT)

So.... if you roll the opposition for not much inside of, say, 50 overs.... in their 2nd innings, you're bowling the rest of your first 100 overs.... in this instance, are any 2nd innings wickets counted and given bonus points?

Cause that'd be a fair whack of points, and well deserved too!!!

Posted by   on (June 3, 2014, 7:27 GMT)

Increase comp to 5 days! - Bonus points are great though! Should have uncapped over for batting

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Country Fixtures Country Results
Scorchers v Strikers at Perth - Dec 22
Strikers won by 1 wicket (with 2 balls remaining)
Hurricanes v Syd Sixers at Hobart
Dec 23, 2014 (19:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
3rd Test: Australia v India at Melbourne
Dec 26-30, 2014 (10:30 local | 23:30 GMT | 18:30 EST | 17:30 CST | 15:30 PST)
Scorchers v Melb Reneg at Perth
Dec 26, 2014 (16:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
Syd Thunder v Syd Sixers at Sydney
Dec 27, 2014 (19:10 local | 08:10 GMT | 03:10 EST | 02:10 CST | 00:10 PST)
Complete fixtures » | Download Fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days