Ben Foakes has defended The Hundred ahead of its inaugural season, claiming there’s room for the 100-ball format and that “Test cricket isn’t going anywhere”.
Foakes himself is currently without a team for the new tournament after going undrafted in the initial selection process. The final picks are being made today, but even if Foakes isn’t among the chosen stars, he believes the format can build on an exciting period for English cricket following some major moments in 2019.
He said: “Test cricket is not going anywhere. [The Hundred] is different. It is targeting more the entertainment side, which when T20 came in, that’s what its role was.
“The different forms can definitely live beside each other. And I guess whatever your preference is, you can be more involved in.
“You obviously need to keep getting people involved, and getting people involved young.
“It’s honking timing with COVID, but what they managed to do [in the World Cup] and just inspire so many of us.
“At the time of the World Cup I was playing a Lions game and even that dressing room went bonkers. Around the world, a lot of people that didn’t have a clue about cricket were talking to me and saying how they think it’s alright now, what I do.
“It definitely got a few more people interested, and The Hundred, at this time if more people are interested in getting to know cricket, it could be a good time.”
As for the actual format itself, a controversial 100-ball format that will defy the a number of conventions set by more traditional forms of the game, Foakes believes it will be a great opportunity for showpiece players to deliver big performances.
“I think there are probably more specific roles, potentially. I think individuals can probably have more of an impact, even more so than T20.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if your X factor players make a massive impact in the games – especially with a ball.
“It’ll be similar, obviously slightly shorter, so power hitters up top, X factor guys, I expect spinners will do pretty well.
“I think, because nobody’s ever played it, it’s one of them that will just unfold. When T20 first started it was like, ‘Spinners can’t play this, they’ll get whacked.’ Turns out they do really well.
“A few things will unfold like that and if it goes for a few years, it’ll get worked out and people will start to plan well for it later on.”
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