The Sheffield Shield will follow in the footsteps of the English County Championship by introducing competition points based on in-match performances rather than purely match results.
For as long as one can remember, Australian sides receive a simple six points for an outright victory. A draw and a loss returns no points, encouraging sides to play aggressively and push to finish the match.
However, teams began producing sub-par pitches in order to maximise the chances of a victory.
This was proving detrimental to the batsmen and spinners of the country, most notably during the 2012/13 season.
However, under the system used in England and South Africa, bonus points are awarded for runs and wickets within the first 100 overs of the first innings.
If the batting side scores 400 runs, they get four bonus points, for example.
This model promotes fast batting but also aggressive bowling and eventually, a brand of cricket that spectators will want to watch.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland made a comment last October that a change of this variety could be on the cards, and it looks as if he will be correct.
A spokesperson from CA confirmed change is on its way for the 2014/15 summer of cricket.
“We are working through a consultation process around changes to the Bupa Sheffield Shield points system,” the spokesperson said.
While they denied to elaborate on the topic, they did confirm that the alterations would be focusing on “creating a more even contest between bat and ball.”
It’s an interesting time to change the backbone of Australian cricket, in my opinion.
We’re coming off one of the most successful seasons in recent memory, let’s not forget.
An Ashes whitewash, one of the closest finishes to the Shield ever, and the most successful Big Bash yet.
It seems like a weird time to adjust.
Have a look at the official press release here.
What are your thoughts towards the change? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Let me know with a comment below.