The cricket world has ridiculed a plan to start using baseball terminology, with an English tournament keen on changing ‘wickets’ to ‘outs’ in a bid to attract new fans.
England’s domestic competition The Hundred is considering changing several of the game’s terms, according to UK newspaper The Telegraph.
A spokeswoman for the competition has insisted ‘nothing is finalised’ and if they listen to the fans the change has no chance of being approved.
Former Australian player Brad Hogg led the criticism on social media.
“This is s**t,” he said on Twitter.
Organisers want to simplify cricket’s language, and another suggested change is for batsmen to be referred to as batters – which aligns with the women’s game and avoids sexism.
Cricket writer Isabelle Westbury praised that move but wasn’t a fan of saying ‘outs’ instead of ‘wickets’.
“Btw this doesn’t mean I like ‘outs’… I sure as hell ain’t dying on that hill,” she wrote.
Fellow cricket writer Jack Mendel described the plan as ‘utterly, utterly nonsensical semantic bollocks’, while another writer, Glenn Moore, said it would ultimately detract from the game.
“As a lifelong cricketer I think the idea of calling wickets ‘outs’ is patronising and dumb. But does it make cricket more accessible?” he queried.
“If so, should tennis do away with 15-15, love, deuce and all that sets and games nonsense Should golf dump birdies and bogies?
“My personal view is no. The lexicon of a sport is part of what it makes it distinctive, part, even, of its attraction. The more you learn the more you become an insider, it is like a rewards system.”
Former Australian player Brad Hogg questioned the need to use baseball terminology.
“The Hundred changing “wickets” to “outs” for dismissals is a little too much,” Hogg tweeted.
“Cricket is not baseball. It’s enough the changes in formats to tamper with the terminology!”
The Hundred’s spokeswoman said the changes had been raised after their research concluded cricket’s terminology was turning new fans away.
“The Hundred is designed to make cricket accessible to everyone, and research shows that the language of the game can sometimes be a barrier,” she said.
“Along with our broadcast partners, we want the Hundred to open cricket up to more people, as well as entertaining existing fans, so we’re discussing the clearest ways of explaining the game.”
The Hundred’s new format has each team face 100 balls each innings, with bowlers permitted to bowl a maximum of 20 balls in spells of five or 10 deliveries each.
The month-long competition kicks off in July.