Ask the Readers: What's Your Perfect Cricket Game? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Ask the Readers: What's Your Perfect Cricket Game?

If you could choose any format for your cricket, what would it be? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

One of the great things, and one of the frustrating things, about our game is flexibility. The professionals play up to five days. Even at lower levels we can easily play two day, limited over and Twenty20.

We all have our preferences for playing, coaching and watching formats, but today I want to know something different. I want to know what structure is best for your level as a coach or player. So, leave a comment and reveal your thinking.


Maybe you feel lower levels should reflect the professional game as much a possible. Or perhaps you place more importance on participation and retention of players. You might argue it's easy to do both.

Whatever your goals, how does this translate to the league that you play?

  • Format: Limited over, draw cricket, single or double innings?
  • Length: 20, 40, 50 overs per innings, or more?
  • Special Rules: Field restrictions, bouncers, over limits, young player restrictions, overseas players?

I play and coach club cricket in the UK, and around this time of year the league asks for changes in the rules from clubs. As usual, we are discussing what we feel is best for our club. Here is what I would like to see to keep players in the game while also producing good games of cricket:

I feel with so many young players falling out of the game, the format needs to reflect the reality that time is at a premium. For that reason I would switch to 40 over limited overs with an outright winner. An early finish is essential.

To make sure everyone got a better chance of a game I would have a 10 over limit on bowlers with the option of one bowler allowed to bowl 12.

This certainly is not right for everyone. So leave a comment and tell me what works for your situation. Maybe we can help make it happen!

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David, does over rate ever come up in these discussions? 40 or 45 (which our league plays) is neither here nor there if teams regularly drag their heels in the field. Personally I would prefer to encourage quicker overs than restricting opportunities in an attempt to fit in a timescale - treating the symptom not the cause?

I would also like to hear your reasoning for the 10 over max (or 12 for one player?). In all forms of professional limited overs cricket bowlers are restricted to 20% so why 25% (or 30% for one bowler?) if you are looking to 'give everyone a better chance of a game'?

If the whole purpose is to finish as early as possible, you might as well skip the game and go straight to the bar!

As a bowler I want to be able to bowl as many overs as possible, but it does mean that you have to be very careful in balancing a side so that people feel involved. But that's the case even if you restrict the bowlers to 20% of the overs available: I see so many League sides whose required 5 bowlers are all also batsmen, which means that 9, 10 and Jack don't get much of a game at all (and the subsequent reluctance to play for that team in the future that goes along with that).

My personal preference is for anything between 40 and 50 overs, with winning and losing draws available in order to give the tail enders something to bat for beyond just slogging and hoping.

40 overs with intelligent use of bonus points for league games, 20 overs for midweek games, and 75 over declaration games for friendlies.

45 overs is neither here nor there. a waste of time.

At my club we still play timed matches on a Sunday and for the 3s and 4s. Generally young players are introduced into these teams and are put off playing cricket by these timed matches as there is no winning team most weeks. So I think it would be best if more teams played 40 over matches. Also seamers don't usually get much of an extended bowl, often they will have a 5 over spell and aren't asked to come back on, while spinners bowl 8 or 9 over.

Good feedback all. Any more thoughts about what you would like to see?

We play 40 overs, we're talking about moving from 10 overs per bowler to 8, this would really test a teams bowling depth and encourage teams to bring young bowlers through and give everyone a game. I would be in favour of this move.

Of course, 40 over games can be completely different between leagues depending on how the points system works. Winner takes all? Winning and losing draws? Runs and wickets points? Completely changes the nature of the game.

Just to add, really, that all the changes that seem to get made in club cricket appear to be to the benefit of the batsman and detriment of the bowler (restricted number of overs per bowler, fielding restrictions, etc), which as a bowler, I obviously think is a shame! Smiling

To me its all about a close game, the format is not important. 40, 45 or 50 over games is irrelevant.

People will be engaged or excited if it comes down to the last couple of overs with the game in the balance. Slow over rates, wash outs with no results, and teams with a dominant player need to be removed. Grading the teams so the play is close each week will make the games interesting, exciting and enjoyable

Are you talking about some kind of handicap system? That's controversial!