August 27, 2010

MCC to trial '5IVES' cricket

Liam Brickhill

If you thought that Powerplays, Free-hits and the possibility of split innings in one-dayers were the height of cricketing innovation, think again. MCC is to trial a new form of cricket known as ‘5IVES’ next month, with MCC Universities playing MCC Young Cricketers in two 50-over games of 5IVES at Radlett Cricket Club on September 6 and 7.

The distinguishing feature of 5IVES is that both teams bat in multiple ‘innings splits’ - rather than the single innings split being trialed in Australia - where the not out batsmen at the end of an innings split resume batting at the start of their side’s next innings split. If that all sounds a bit confusing, it might be re-assuring to know that there are still 11 players in a side, the batting side is all out after losing 10 wickets, and the side with the most runs wins the game.

“What cricket needs is excitement and tension throughout the game, not just in the closing stages,” suggested Dick Wood, the South African inventor of 5IVES. “To achieve this you must be able to see who is winning now. 5IVES Cricket is the ultimate head-to-head limited-overs cricket contest. You can see who is winning the race, not a race against the clock. It brings the game alive creating the energy and atmosphere that sports fans crave, without compromising the integrity of the game.”

“After listening to Dick’s presentation to the MCC World Cricket Committee at Lord’s, we were keen to take the next step and see for ourselves how 5IVES operates,” explained John Stephenson, MCC’s head of cricket. “A key part of MCC’s remit is to provide research and development for the good of the game and, given our independence in world cricket, we are well placed to conduct such a trial. We look forward to seeing how 5IVES works in practice – it may succeed, it may not, but we won’t know until we’ve given it a go.”

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

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