Current and former cricketers have lashed the ECB's plan for 100-ball cricket, which will muddy the sport's waters even further if the proposal goes ahead.
The short format was announced overnight as the likely option for the city-based competition that will exist alongside the T20 Blast, one-day cup and County Championship from 2020.
The ECB only introduced Twenty20 to the world 15 years ago, while the Hong Kong Sixes – consisting of five overs per six-man team – and T10 League exist as lower-level tournaments.
Remarkably, it was only in 2014 that England's one-day competition changed from 40 overs to the standard 50 overs.
With so much confusion in the ranks already it's no surprise the announcement caught players off guard.
Under the proposal, each team will face 15 standard six-ball overs before a 10-ball over completes the innings.
The ECB claimed the idea was "fresh and exciting" and "will appeal to a younger audience and attract new fans" to cricket.
But that was a reasoning many cricketers found hard to swallow.
Despite failing to see a need for the new format, Michael Vaughan came around – if only for one main reason.
As if the general public didn’t understand cricket enough in the current formats, we go and add another one.— Chris Tremlett (@ChrisTremlett33) April 19, 2018
Not sure what’s wrong with 2020 and why we’re trying to get funky🤷🏻♂️🤷🏻♂️
The longer form of the game is what needs spicing up, not the shorter form ..
Cricket now has 5 day,4 day,3 day,2 day,50 overs,40 overs,20 overs,T10 league,Hong sixes & 100 ball comp ...... Good luck understanding our great game !!!!!!! #OnOn— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 19, 2018
Not sure about this new franchise idea in 2020... only a 40 ball difference from a normal t20 game...Which would save around 15mins per innings roughly. It will be interesting to see if the fans are that bothered on a game finishing 30/40mins quicker than usual??— liam dawson (@daws128) April 19, 2018
On the one hand it’s pretty impressive that @ECB_cricket have the guts to try something so different when t20 is working so well in the rest of the world.— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) April 19, 2018
On the other hand... lol
It's still cricket.
As you can see above, New Zealand cricketer and Twitter extraordinaire Jimmy Neesham wasn't a huge fan of the 100-ball innings.
Might be confusing that another format has been created .. But it will be fun and entertaining I have no doubt .. 8 franchisees will be great for the game in the UK .. #100Balls— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 19, 2018
It’s only a game of Cricket everyone ... 20 overs or 16.4 overs ... It will be great entertainment ... won’t revolutionise the game as that’s been done with T20 ... #100Balls— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 19, 2018
But even he conceded that for some players – including himself – it will be very familiar.
It’s not even like a ten ball over is that innovative, I bowl them all the time.— Jimmy Neesham (@JimmyNeesh) April 19, 2018