Henry Blofeld on why he is not in favour of new Hundred competition
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A popular Norfolk cricket personality has described a new domestic cricket competition which launches next week as "desperately complicated".
Henry Blofeld, the former BBC Test Match Special commentator, believes the new Hundred franchise tournament will cause more problems than it is worth.
Blofeld said: "Test cricket may not produce the income which the one day game produces, but I think if you took Test cricket away, it is the golden standard of the game and it is the form of the game the players will value more than any other."
The Hundred launches on Wednesday, July 21 and is intended to reach out to a wider audience with many new rules being introduced, as well as enlisting the support of musicians such as Becky Hill, Jake Bugg and Jax Jones.
For Blofeld, the competition is simply a money-maker set up to "play catch-up" with the Indian Premier League T20 success.
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"We invented T20 and lost control of it. India took control of it and have done wonderfully well with the IPL, so I take my hat off to them," Blofeld said.
"Are they simply trying to attract people who don't really need cricket and are not going to show the game any long-term affection? I really don't know. It will be interesting to see.
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"And of course the other thing is it's going to be yet another form of the game to get used to and I shall be very interested to see how it all works.
"A bowler can bowl 10 balls but be taken off after five. It seems to me like you are going to need a rulebook. It's desperately complicated when what you are really trying to do when you attract a new audience is trying to simplify everything.
"Although the people who invented it will say it is simple, I am not sure it is. We will see. I wish it luck. We've got it. I wouldn't have done it myself.
"The only reason for it is to make lots of money just as it was with the original T20 and lets hope it works but not to the detriment of Test cricket."