The Hundred: New batters on strike even if pair in the middle cross

A batsman plays a shot during a trial match for The Hundred at Trent Bridge
The rule regarding new batters was used during The Hundred pilot matches at Trent Bridge last year

New batters will be on strike for the next ball even if the players in the middle cross while a catch is taken in The Hundred.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced the change as one of the new playing conditions for next year's domestic programme.

The mandatory coin toss has been reinstated to all Championship matches, having been scrapped since 2016.

There are also new over-rate penalties in the shorter formats.

Instead of conceding six runs per over not completed before the time limit, the fielding side in The Hundred, T20 Blast and one-day Royal London Cup will now be allowed one fewer player outside the 30-yard circle until the end of their bowling innings.

The rule change which ensures the new batsman is always on strike is designed to reward the bowler for taking a wicket. The only time a new batter will not face the next delivery is if it is at the end of block of balls and there is a change of ends.

In The Hundred, bowlers can deliver either five or 10 balls consecutively.

In the new competition, which runs from 17 July to 15 August next year, sides must face a minimum of 25 balls each to constitute a result.

Each innings is expected to last 65 minutes, while the fielding side can take a time-out of two minutes 30 seconds after the first 25 balls of the innings, though it is not compulsory.

The mandatory toss was scrapped from the 2016 Championship season with the aim of encouraging better pitches for four-day cricket, with the visiting captain offered the opportunity of bowling first and a toss only taking place if he declined.

The toss has been introduced as the ECB hope that proposed tougher pitch penalties and changes to the Dukes ball's seam will result in a more even contest between bat and ball.

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