Joe Root has given his backing to the new 100-ball format proposed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which is set to be introduced in a new eight-team city-based English domestic competition in 2020.
The concept, revealed by the ECB last week, would see innings consist of 15 traditional six-ball overs, and a final 10-ball over.
“It’s new, it’s definitely going to appeal to a new audience and I think that’s great,” England’s Test captain told Wisden. “The more people we can get into the sport, the better. It’s good for the other facets of the game as well, you’ve got to remember that.
“It might be that people will compare it to T20 and say it might take interest away from Test cricket but it’s bringing new people to the game, that’s the idea. We want more and more people interested in cricket.
“Off the back of what should be a really interesting tournament that is new and exciting, you might get people off the back of that that really enjoy cricket who didn’t know much about it before who then go on to watch a Test match and get immersed in that. That’s the way I’d like to look at it.”
Root added that as well as attracting a new audience, he believes the format will appeal to players across the world. But he also urged caution that the longer forms of the game must be protected.
“I’m sure a lot of current players will want to play it and get involved in it that also love playing other formats as well,” he said. “It’s very interesting times for English cricket and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds.
“We’ve got to find ways to make sure other formats don’t suffer from this. But it has a place in the game and we’ll hopefully see that over time. We’ve got to be very careful that we don’t measure it against the other formats – it’s something to gather a new audience and gain interest, to make it really simple and easy for people to understand – not see it as a threat to the other formats.
“The most important thing is that we find ways to look after longer versions of the game, whether that be one-day cricket, T20 – it’s odd to say that is a longer format now – and in particular Test cricket.”