ECB trials for The Hundred in September will feature experiments with “various elements of the playing conditions”, according to the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), which has been helping to coordinate player availability for the test outings at Trent Bridge and Loughborough.
Daryl Mitchell, the PCA chairman, has previously warned that the competition won’t succeed if players aren’t on board. The pilot matches are aimed at informing the ECB’s decision-making process and Mitchell indicated feedback may help determine “if the format is workable”.
The PCA has been critical of the way the proposed 100-ball format was announced, with minimal consultation, earlier in the year. However, the organisation has now been in contact with players to help facilitate the trials, with a number of details still to be worked out.
Plans for the new competition, to begin in 2020, have reportedly involved numerous tweaks to the game, some more outlandish than others. It is thought that 20 five-ball overs is now the preferred format, but little is set in stone beyond the concept of each side facing 100 deliveries.
The PCA hopes that representatives from the majority of the 18 counties will be able to take part in the trials, with men’s games being hosted at Trent Bridge on September 16, 17 and 18. Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire have agreed to cancel a 2nd XI fixture in order to provide players.
Women’s matches will be played at Loughborough on September 14, 15 and 27.
“The trials will provide an opportunity for players to get involved and to experiment various elements of the playing conditions which will be tested before providing feedback to the ECB on if the format is workable,” Mitchell, who plays for Worcestershire, said.
“After the proposed 100-ball format was announced in April, consultation with PCA members has been regular, with numerous conversations and meetings between the ECB, PCA and player representatives to discuss playing regulations. All current male players have been contacted today to notify them of the details for the pilot matches with player availability coordinated via the counties and the ECB.”
Mitchell said he expected that “three or four XIs” would be selected, in order to “maximise investigations” into the new format, with all of the players involved set to receive match fees.