Is T20 too traditional for the kids of today?

Headliner: Anya Shrubsole's six wickets in the final will inspire a generation of cricketers to come Getty Images

Women join the big ticket

Tom Harrison, the ECB chief executive, last year described England women's victory in the World Cup final at Lord's as the most "disruptive" event in the board's history, and he meant that in the fullest, most corporately backslapping sense of the word.

The "disruption", in the eyes of the ECB's gleeful marketing men, was the sight of young families and children - boys and, especially, girls - flocking to what, to all intents and purposes, felt like a brand-new competition at the most storied venue in the game.

The fact that these nascent fans were then presented with a finish for the ages, as Anya Shrubsole snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, was all the evidence they needed to invite the women's game onto the big ticket for 2020. England's women are the most successful, and malleable, asset that the board has at its disposal.

Reductio ad absurdum?

You know that the game has changed forever when the notion of upsetting "T20 traditionalists" is floated, even semi-seriously, as a reason for not embracing this radical new departure.

But that in itself is a reminder of just how long T20 has been on the block - it's been 15 years, almost to the month, since the original Twenty20 Cup was rolled out in 2003 (to hoots of derision, lest we forget).

And it's also a reminder of just how long English cricket has been out of sight, out of mind, to the very kids that the ECB are targeting their new competition towards.

Alastair Cook, as an infamous recent survey suggested, is less well known to kids than the wrestler John Cena, and he has not scored a single one of his England record 12,028 Test runs on English free-to-air television.

And the clear message, from the numerous attempts that the ECB has been making in recent times - particularly through the efforts of its out-going head of participation, Matt Dwyer - is that cricket is deemed too complicated for the uninitiated to get their heads around.

So here comes a neat notion on the face of it - 100 balls per side, comprised of 15 six-ball overs and one 10-ball finale, as if codifying the bonus excitement of a Super Over into every match. And the team that scores the most wins. Simples.

So simple, in fact, that you wonder whether it is really necessary to rip up the established fabric of T20 cricket. (Although, let's not forget, English cricket was still committed to 55-overs-a-side in ODI cricket right up until 1995, when the rest of the world was faring very nicely on 50 - the ECB/TCCB has always been partial to a bit of perversity).

Windows of opportunity

Most fundamentally, however, the loss of 20 balls per innings seems a fairly targeted attempt to ensure that each and every contest will fit very snugly into a three-hour timeframe.

All T20 games, in theory, ought to be done and dusted in that time, but once you've factored in such elements as strategic time-outs, delays caused by wickets and lost balls, the natural lag that occurs in close finishes, overspill is inevitable.

For Sky Sports, the primary broadcasters, it's hard to imagine that this would be an issue on a specialist channel, but for the BBC - newly coaxed back to the table after two decades away from live TV - it might well have been fundamental.

After all, a key aspect of the ECB juicing a remarkable GBP1.1 billion out of this latest five-year rights deal was the chance for the broadcasters to be treated as partners, with an integral say in the look and feel of the new competition, rather than clients.

And for the BBC to commit to showing these matches in their prime-time slots from 6pm to 9pm - given the age-old issues they and their viewers encountered back in the day - the chance to factor in a guarantee that Mrs Brown's Boys would begin on the dot of 9pm, as per the schedule, must have been very tempting indeed.

Dang and Blast

To what extent is this proposal truly innovative, and to what extent is it a legacy of past decisions - or, more to the point, past indecision? For the ECB's failure to capitalise on the revolutionary success of their original Twenty20 Cup has gnawed away at the USP to such an extent that, now, 15 years later, their existing competition, the Vitality Blast, is the third best T20 competition in the English season alone - behind the IPL and the Caribbean Premier League.

And the Blast is not going away - one of the absurdities of the horse-trading that was required to make this new competition possible is that the full 18-county competition will continue to chug along in the background of the marquee competition.

In every sense, this feels like a corporate solution to a very intractable problem.

A whole new ball-game?

And finally, it's over to MCC, and their venerable Laws of Cricket.

Law 17.1, pertaining to the length of an over, currently states: "The ball shall be bowled from each end alternately in overs of six balls."

That's not to say this cannot change - cricket has been bowled in overs of four, five, six and, up until 1979-80 in Australia, eight deliveries in the past. But never before have there been two lengths in a single game. It's just not cricket any more, is it?