Rashid backs radical plan to speed up the Big Bash
Afghanistan star says the Big Bash League can learn from The Hundred and allow bowlers to bowl consecutive overs from the same end to speed up the game
9 August 2021, 01:42 PM AEST
Afghan superstar Rashid Khan says the KFC BBL should allow players to bowl consecutive overs from the same end as part of the league's proposed crackdown on slow play.
Big Bash officials are discussing ways to reduce the length of matches this summer after data revealed game durations have extended to well beyond three hours in recent seasons.
Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson told cricket.com.au last month that forcing fielding teams to bring an extra player inside the inner circle if they are behind the over rate is one option under consideration.
A similar rule is already in place in England's new Hundred competition and Adelaide Strikers star Rashid, who is playing in that tournament with the Trent Rockets, says that idea has merit.
The Hundred has controversially moved away from six-ball overs and instead has 'sets' of 10 balls before a change of ends, with one bowler allowed to bowl all 10 deliveries in a row. It means a fielding team changes ends just nine times per innings compared to 19 times per innings in a T20.
Rashid believes bowling consecutive six-ball overs from the same end in T20 cricket, which could eliminate up to 20 change of ends per game, is an obvious way to reduce the duration of matches.
"Bowling two overs from one end ... it is so good (because) it doesn't take that much time," Rashid told cricket.com.au.
"It makes it easier as a fielder as well, that you don't keep changing, and it's much much quicker. That's what I think this (100-ball) format is all about – everything happens quickly, it doesn't take so much time.
"I think if it's in other formats as well, to bowl a couple of overs from the same end, it won't be a bad idea.
"It'll help you bowl the overs very quickly and reduce the time. People watching, they love to watch more cricket faster and faster, rather than it taking so long. It's a pretty good idea."
With each change of ends taking at least 60 seconds, bowling two overs before switching could shave up to 20 minutes off the length of a T20 game if the same bowler sends down all 12 deliveries in a row.
The BBL's player acquisition and cricket consultant Trent Woodhill, one of the driving forces behind The Hundred, has previously suggested eliminating the change of ends completely from short-form cricket.
"The 19 changes of ends in a T20 innings bugs the absolute s*** out of me," Woodhill said last year, before he took on his role with the BBL. "You don't need it.
"You're asking fans over the course of a game to watch 38 changes of ends, and all the bulls*** that goes with it. Changing gloves, drinks, the conferencing ... all of this, rather than play."
Based on his experience in The Hundred, Rashid says allowing one player to bowl consecutive overs from the same end would also give bowlers an edge as they could settle into a rhythm against a particular batsman.
"(In The Hundred) you can use the longer boundary for 10 balls and the shorter one for five balls (before changing bowlers for the second set of five)," he says. "It makes it a fair game for the bowlers as well."
Woodhill is currently in the UK for the inaugural season of The Hundred, where teams are forced to bring an extra fielder inside the inner circle for every ball the innings goes beyond its allocated time of 65 minutes.
That rule proved decisive in one men's game in Southampton; the batting side, the Southern Brave, scored a pivotal late boundary to the vacant area at deep square leg, where a fielder had been stationed before he was forced to move inside the inner circle because the time had elapsed.
On Sunday night, the Oval Invincibles won by nine runs despite having to bring a man inside the circle for the final 11 balls of the run chase and their game against the Rockets finished 15 minutes behind schedule.
Rashid, who also plays in the Indian Premier League where some games can stretch to four hours long, says players need to do more to move the game along.
"I would love to see those rules in T20s as well," he said.
"As a professional player, you have to be ready and you have to react very quickly, rather than taking so much time. You must have plans A, B and C and just go and apply that, rather than thinking a lot to change in the field (during games).
"As a captain, you have to think about all those things, the timing and (getting) things right. It makes the cricket faster and faster, I think it's a pretty good idea. You just don't waste time.
"As a player, you shouldn't do it in any format. If you waste time, (these rules mean) you lose a player and I think that's something good."
The BBL has previously fined teams and even banned fielding captains for multiple over-rate breaches but the duration of games has continued to rise, which hasn't gone unnoticed by rule-makers.
"Our data shows they've started to lengthen more than we'd probably like in the last couple of years and that's something we're looking at closely in terms of what options we've got," Dobson said last month.