England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Director Andrew Strauss said the sport could not afford to have its “head stuck in the sand”, as he confirmed that a new multi-format ‘Super Series’ would be in place for England’s home series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan this season.
The first Test between England and Sri Lanka at Headingly on Thursday, will break fresh ground by being the first in men’s cricket, where a new points system, modelled on the one used by England and Australia for the women’s Ashes, will be employed.
Four points will be allocated to a Test win and two for a draw, with two points for a win in ‘white-ball’ cricket and one for a tie in any of the limited overs matches, with the ECB backing their own plan by putting up an additional prize of $36,495 for the overall Super Series winner.
“The rationale is that the game of cricket is evolving unbelievably quickly, and I think we feel responsibility to ensure the international game develops,” said Strauss.
“Central to that is context and relevance for every game of cricket you play,” the former England captain added.
“We believe the Super Series will provide that by connecting the formats and ensuring every game counts for something more than just itself.
One-day matches in England have been regarded as something of an after-thought and Strauss sees the new system as a way of keeping fans engrossed throughout the season.
“We feel this is a good way of ensuring the game remains relevant in both fans’ and players’ minds,” Strauss explained.
Had the same points formula had been applied to England’s last two tours, the outcome would have been decided in the last match — with a different winner to the Test series.
“If you look at the last two series we played — against South Africa we would have lost the Super Series in the final Twenty20, and against Pakistan in the UAE we would have won the Super Series in the super over in the final Twenty20,” said Strauss.