The Hundred 2021: Commentators being asked to simplify generic cricketing terms for new demographic

The Hundred (PC: Cricket Australia)
The Hundred (PC: Cricket Australia)
Gokul Nair

The introduction of The Hundred will usher cricket into a whole new, unexplored dimension. The new format curated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will see the action unfold in 100 deliveries per innings.

Naturally, the curated format has piqued the interests of cricket enthusiasts. But the entertainment aspect of the format is set to rope in a lot of viewers as well, who are only vaguely familiar or do not have a grasp of the rules.

As a result, the commentators assigned for the inaugural edition of The Hundred have reportedly been told to elaborate on the proceedings rather than use generic terms which have been developed over the years.

Words such as 'googly', 'yorker' and 'bouncer' are some examples. The Hundred commentators will have to explain the delivery to cater to the new audience.

Bryan Henderson, Sky’s head of cricket, told Telegraph Sport:

"We veer towards more coverage of elite sport (than the BBC) but what we want to get away from is dressing room speak. Terminology like ‘bowling it into the pitch’ might need more of an explanation and commentators might have to challenge each other a bit. But we don’t want to dumb down. It is about simplifying the game but keeping it classy."

Commentators from both the networks broadcasting the tournament, Sky and BBC, have been instructed to avoid using any terms that might be unknown to first-time viewers.

The Hundred steps a little out of orthodox cricket

Apart from the changes in the commentary vocabulary, the competition also intends to change the way scores are read.

Predominantly, the scores in cricket are read in terms of runs scored, and the number of overs bowled. However, The Hundred intends to focus more on the number of deliveries bowled and omit the concept of overs from the visual scorecard.

Following the culmination of the prescribed set of deliveries, instead of an over-conclusion, it will just be a 'change of end'.

"First innings it will be runs scored, balls faced. Second innings, it will be runs required and balls left so you will not hear things like 130 for two," Henderson added.

The Hundred will begin this week for both the men's and women's divisions. Both editions will kick off with the Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals facing each other at the Oval, a day apart.

Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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