COVID has certainly taken it’s toll on the world, hasn’t it?
Economies devastated, communities in turmoil, cities in lockdown, and sports struggling.
Sports around the world have had to adapt to a changing environment.
The NRL was the first to introduce some changes designed to speed up the game and entice more punters to watch.
Peter V’Landys introduced set restarts to cut down on stoppages and allow attacking teams to maintain pressure, and ultimately score more points.
V’Landys also reduced the number of referees, but to be honest, this was more about saving money than improving the game.
With the Big Bash League about to start, and concerns about state border closures affecting the national competition, the BBL has decided that it is going to tweak the rules a tad.
It’s introducing three new rules.
Power Surge. At the moment, the during the first 6 overs of each innings, only 2 players are allowed outside the circle. After that, 4 players are allowed outside the circle. The new rule means this will apply to the first 4 overs only, but the batting team can nominate another 2 overs whenever they want, after the 11th over (the Power Surge), when the same fielding restrictions will apply.
The X Factor. Each team can nominate a 12th and 13th player (The X factor). Half way through the first innings, each captain can bring in their X Factor for any other player who hasn’t batted, or bowled 1 over or less.
The Bash Boost. At the moment, there are 2 points available for each match. The Bash Boost means that there will be 4 points available for each match. There will be 3 points for the winner, and 1 point for the team that is ahead after 10 overs of the second innings. So if the team that bats second is ahead of where the team that batted first was, they get the Bash Boost point. If they are behind, then the bowling team gets the Bash Boost point. Presumably, if they are on the same score, they get half a point each?
Trent Woodhill is a consultant to the BBL, and is championing the new innovations.
“We need innovation because people like change, but I think these (changes) will actually improve the game itself,” he said.
He added that it will force captains to think on their feet and be more accountable for their actions.
So with change, improvement and excitement in mind, Mr Sport delved into his mind for more possibilities and came up with the following 6 rule changes that will make the BBL the number 1 sporting competition in the world.
Batters Bonus. The name of one of the top 6 batsmen from each team is drawn from a hat. The runs scored by that batsman is doubled. This will make captains consider promoting batsmen to take advantage of double runs during fielding restrictions.
Bonus over. Before play, each captain nominates an over. Whatever runs are scored in that over are doubled. This will force captains to try to manipulate who will be batting to maximise their bonus over.
Big Hit Bonus. At the moment, a ball hit over the rope on the full is a 6. If the ball clears the fence, you get a 9.
Tip and run over. Each bowling captain can nominate one over after the 10th over as the tip and run over. During that over, any time a batsman hits the ball, they must run. This rule gives the bowling team an advantage. It will the force the batsman to consider not playing at a ball to avoid being run out.
First Ball Bonus. You can’t get out on the first ball. Not only will this encourage big hitting, but it will take take us back to our days playing backyard cricket, much like the previous rule change.
Maiden Bonus. Any player who faces a maiden over is forced to retire, and can only return if all other players are dismissed.
Okay, so I’m taking the piss, as I quite often do, but surely the BBL are taking the piss as well.
The X Factor! What the hell is that about?
I thought the idea of cricket was to pick your 11 best players.
Now if you have an X factor player, you pick him as 12th or 13th man and bring him in for another player.
My question is, if you have an X Factor player, surely he should be in your starting team? Isn’t the idea to pick your best players.
As for the Power Surge, why not just let the batsmen set the field for 1 over? It’s just as stupid.
And the Bash Boost? Why not have 50 points available for each game: 25 points to the winners, 5 points for the team leading after 10 overs, 5 points to the first player to score a century, 5 points for the first player to take five wickets, 2 points for any players who come from a household where English is the second language, 2 points to the team who spent more time doing charity work last week, and 1 point to the oldest player.
Look, I’m not against change and innovation, but change for the sake of change is pointless.
These changes smack of desperation.
The fact is that COVID has impacted on all of us. Crowds will be down due to social distancing.
Sponsorship will be down as more companies struggle with profits as we slip into a recession.
The best thing the BBL can do is support the teams through this difficult time, and forget about pointless silly rules.
Unless of course the BBL likes my suggestions, in which case, I have heaps more brilliant ideas, and can be contacted at this website.
And remember, there’s no such thing as too much sport!