Queensland test out new 'Hundred' format
In a bid to test squad's adaptability, Bulls play intra-squad game adopting rules from England's new 100-ball-a-side concept
Adam Burnett in Brisbane
29 July 2020, 05:30 PM AEST
This year has forced sporting teams the world over to think outside the box, but Queensland have gone one step further by testing out a new format of cricket that has never been played competitively.
Making the most of some sunny Brisbane winter weather and a COVID-19 free climate, the Bulls adopted the rules of England’s new ‘Hundred’ format in an intra-squad game on Wednesday.
Test No.3 Marnus Labuschagne played the star hand, skippering the 'Labuschagne XI' and making an unbeaten 95 to run down a total of 7-177 with fewer than 10 balls to spare at Allan Border Field.
Test opener Joe Burns was skipper of the opposing team, for whom Matt Renshaw smashed 92 in the 100-balls-per-side affair.
Burns told cricket.com.au the idea by Bulls assistant coach James Hopes to experiment with the new format, which was set to be introduced in the high-profile Hundred tournament in England this year until those plans were scuppered by the pandemic, was aimed to test adaptability.
"We had a draft last week, we trained together as teams, and it was nice just to get outdoors and play a game," said the opening batsman, who was out for seven.
"It's a different feeling than to just rocking up to training so we enjoyed it.
"It was about getting our head around the tactics for The Hundred but also to get in particular our younger guys thinking about different ways to play the game, trying to work on our adaptability, and it's a bit of fun as well.
"Bowlers can bowl back-to-back overs, swapping ends every 10 balls, and just different tactics that go into it, which start different conversations.
"This time of year it's not necessarily about runs and wickets, it's just about getting out and having a game-like intensity to what we do.
"Marnus and Renshaw were very good – there was a short boundary to one side and they both peppered it.
"I think the last game we all played was a Shield game (in early March) so it's nice to be able to get that game feeling and have a proper run around with the 10 other guys on your team."
The likes of David Warner, Steve Smith, Chris Lynn, Aaron Finch and Mitchell Starc were all set to play in the inaugural season of the Hundred before it was cancelled.
The new format sees bowlers change ends after 10 balls, strategic timeout of up to two and a half minutes and a 25-ball powerplay start for each team.
Burns and the Bulls have enjoyed a number of centre-wicket sessions in recent weeks and while the summer's cricket landscape will invariably be at the whims of the coronavirus situation, their pre-season is currently business as usual.
"I'm feeling very fit," said Burns, who missed an opportunity to cement his Test spot when Australia's scheduled Test tour of Bangladesh was cancelled earlier this year.
"I've been hitting lots of cricket balls and I'm ready to go for the season. I tried to make the most of the time we had off and I know when we do get back playing it's going to be pretty much non-stop and on the road, so I just want the summer to start."
The Bulls named their 18-man state squad (plus five rookies) in June.
IN: Jack Wood (new), Jack Clayton (rookie), Benji Floros (rookie)
OUT: Cameron Gannon (WA), Charlie Hemphrey (Glamorgan), Alister McDermott, Jack Prestwidge
Nationally contracted: Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne
State squad: Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Brendan Doggett, Blake Edwards, Sam Heazlett, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Kuhnemann, Nathan McSweeney, Michael Neser, Lachlan Pfeffer, Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Billy Stanlake, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth, Jack Wood
Rookies: Jack Clayton, Benji Floros, Corey Hunter, Connor Sully, Matthew Willans