How can cricket stay relevant in the modern age - a time when, according to cricket-board research, people are stupider than they have ever been? How can young and increasingly moronic generations of smartphone-obsessed dimwits be converted into fans? The situation is already beyond dire. The Briefing's own surveys indicate that, incredibly, only one in 100 schoolkids knows that since 2016, DRS rules now allow for the projection of the ball to hit as much as 3.8 centimetres more of the stumps when the bowling team is attempting to overturn a not-out leg-before decision. Worse, not a single infant in England could identify Alastair Cook - not even his own offspring. Will tournament organisers ever be able to dumb cricket down enough? The Briefing investigates.

The new format
The ECB is leading the hunt for new fans, proposing a new format called The Hundred after the number of people on the planet who did not snort derisively when they heard the idea. The widespread criticism, however, is not necessarily bad news, suggests the ECB. In fact, if you are already a fan, it is probably a good thing you are reluctant to embrace the format, because you are not kind of person The Hundred is designed to appeal to, in that you are not a mental-hospital escapee or currently on cocaine.

The advocates
Are we being too cynical? The Hundred does already have a couple high-profile supporters, namely Joe Root and Eoin Morgan.

"It's something to gather a new audience and gain interest - not a threat to the other formats," said Root.

Morgan meanwhile, was of the opinion that "the noise [The Hundred] created is brilliant, because you get the same people who love the game - like I do - coming to the game and complaining about it."

It is possible, I suppose, that they would have each made these comments even if an ECB staffer had not been standing behind the press pack holding up cue cards with those exact words written on them.

Inspiring peace
In boring 120-balls-an innings news, Royal Challengers Bangalore have for the second consecutive season amassed three of the most explosive batsmen the game has ever seen, and yet find themselves facing an increasingly difficult road to the playoffs. It is a very beautiful thing because as the world strives to avert violence, and North and South Korea pledge to discontinue their nuclear programmes, what better illustration of the futility of intimidation and owning heavy weaponry than an IPL side that has Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Brendon McCullum in the top order, and yet remains second-to-last on the table?

Only for a very limited time
Unbeknown to almost anyone, New Zealand have apparently played the entirety of their cricket season, thrashing West Indies across formats, mauling Pakistan in limited-overs cricket, and defeating England in Tests. Having been inactive for five months last year, they now have a six-month break before their home season kicks off again in October.

Staggeringly wholesome, and extremely fun to watch, but playing their cricket in a corner of the world way too early in the morning, this New Zealand team is like a shooting star blazing briefly through the cricketing sky, or an orchid that blooms spectacularly then wilts in a hurry.

The snub
Following years of outstanding production in Pakistan's domestic cricket, including maintaining an average of 71.90 in the most recent Quaid-e-Azam trophy, Fawad Alam has again been overlooked for the Pakistan Test squad. The Briefing might have featured this injustice more prominently this month, but frankly, there were more interesting things to write about.

Next month on The Briefing:

- Finally broken down by the negative publicity The Hundred has attracted, but still desperate to appeal to the English public, the ECB announces several minor tweaks to the format, proposing that the pitch be lengthened to 100 metres instead of its present 22 yards, and that the wicketkeepers now stand in front of the stumps - which themselves will be changed to large, rectangular structures with netting at the back - while competing teams of fielders manoeuvre the ball, mainly using their feet.

- Having made changes to the Future Tours Programme, NZC expects 2022 to be a "jam-packed, thrill-a-minute, bumper cricketing year", in which the national team will play as many as seven Tests and take part in anywhere up to two overseas tours.

- Fawad Alam is left out of Sui Southern Gas Corporation domestic side on the basis that he does not walk confidently enough to the crease.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando