Wild backlash over 'patronising and dumb' cricket change

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
An idea by organisers of English domestic competition The Hundred to change 'wickets' to 'outs' has been met with a flat rejection from many cricket fans. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)
An idea by organisers of English domestic competition The Hundred to change 'wickets' to 'outs' has been met with a flat rejection from many cricket fans. (Photo by Philip Brown/Getty Images)

A mooted plan to change cricket terminology from 'wickets' to 'outs' has been met with blunt condemnation from fans of the sport across the world.

According to UK newspaper The Telegraph, domestic competition The Hundred is considering changing the terminology for a wicket but a spokeswoman has insisted 'nothing is finalised'.

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That could be for the best if the reaction from the cricket world is anything to go by.

Criticisms of the proposed change were varied, with former Australian player Brad Hogg cutting the niceties on Twitter.

"This is s**t," he bluntly remarked.

The change has been raised as part of a bid to simplify the language of the game, with batsman also to be referred to as 'batters' - bringing The Hundred in line with the women's game.

Cricket writer Isabelle Westbury applauded the competition's move to 'batters' but drew the line at the plan to use 'outs' instead of 'wickets'.

"Btw this doesn't mean I like 'outs'... I sure as hell ain't dying on that hill," she wrote.

Fellow cricket writer Jack Mendel described the plan as 'utterly, utterly nonsensical semantic bollocks', while another writer, Glenn Moore, said it would ultimately detract from the game.

“As a lifelong cricketer I think the idea of calling wickets ‘outs’ is patronising and dumb. But does it make cricket more accessible?" he queried.

“If so, should tennis do away with 15-15, love, deuce and all that sets and games nonsense Should golf dump birdies and bogies?

“My personal view is no. The lexicon of a sport is part of what it makes it distinctive, part, even, of its attraction. The more you learn the more you become an insider, it is like a rewards system."

Controversy erupts over The Hundred's 'outs' thought bubble

There was plenty of feedback over the proposed change on social media as well, with former Australian star Brad Hogg questioning why organisers felt the need to borrow baseball terminology.

"The Hundred changing "wickets" to "outs" for dismissals is a little too much," Hogg tweeted. 

"Cricket is not baseball. It's enough the changes in formats to tamper with the terminology!"

There were many other passionate responses to the move.

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The Hundred's spokeswoman said the change had been raised after their own research showed the jargon of the game was proving to be a barrier for entry to new fans.

“The Hundred is designed to make cricket accessible to everyone, and research shows that the language of the game can sometimes be a barrier," she said.

“Along with our broadcast partners, we want the Hundred to open cricket up to more people, as well as entertaining existing fans, so we’re discussing the clearest ways of explaining the game.”

The month-long competition is set to begin in July, after it's launch in 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new format has each team face 100 balls each innings, with bowlers permitted to bowl a maximum of 20 balls in spells of five or 10 deliveries each.

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