The England and Wales Cricket Board on Thursday agreed to several game-changing decisions at their board meeting at Lord’s, key among which are new eligibility rules for representing England and playing conditions of the Hundred. Each of these is scheduled to come into effect by 2020.
In a press release, ECB said that they had approved a new strategy for the game and endorsed key projects to support the sustainability and future growth of cricket in England and Wales.
The biggest development was eligibility criteria for players to represent England being changed from seven years to three years.
The new ECB eligibility criteria for players, both men and women, from 1 January 2019, are:
a) British Citizenship
b) Either born in England/Wales, or three years residence (a total of 210 days/year April-March)
c) Not played as a local player in professional international or domestic cricket in a Full Member country within the last three years
The biggest benefactor of this could be Jofra Archer. The 23-year-old is originally from Barbados and represented West Indies at Under-19 level but has been with Sussex since 2015, which means he has served his quota of three years. Archer holds a British passport through his English father.
Archer could actually play for England next year, possibly in both the World Cup and the Ashes. The ECB added that the new criteria is in line with the regulations of the International Cricket Council, which were themselves amended this year from four years to three, according to ESPNcricinfo.
The other big news was the Cricket Committee recommendation for playing conditions in the new competition called The Hundred. Each innings will be a 100 balls with a change of end after every 10 balls. A bowler will be able to deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls with a maximum of 20 per game.
Confirming the decisions, Tom Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the ECB, was quoted as saying: “The game has made huge progress this year, through collaboration, constructive debate and a volume of detailed discussion. The outcomes for all of this combined work are vital for the growth and sustainability of cricket, at all levels, in England and Wales. The strategy we have created over the last 12 months will give the whole game clear priorities and allow us to deliver these together.”