100 balls format still in England's sights

By AFP, London

Plans to establish a new 100 balls a side tournament in English county cricket remain in place despite a review into the domestic set-up.
Wednesday saw the England and Wales Cricket Board announce the creation of a "working group giving fresh thought to refining the structure of men's county cricket that has been agreed for 2020".
Last week the ECB revealed its intention to establish an eight-team city-based 100 balls per side tournament to start in 2020, despite it having been previously thought this would be another Twenty20 event in addition to the existing 'Blast' featuring all 18 first-class counties.
But given fewer than half of England's professional players will be involved in an eight, as opposed to 18, team event, doubts remain about the type of cricket those excluded from the 100-ball format will play.
Gordon Hollins, the ECB's chief operating officer, said the working group had been set up, in part, to address that question.
"A number of subjects and proposals have been raised in various forums over the last few weeks and months, such as a new conference structure for the Specsavers County Championship, and the question of what other cricket should be played during the new ECB tournament later in the summer of 2020," Hollins said in a statement.
He added: "In striving to reach a new audience, we must not neglect county cricket, nor its great tradition."