The Regulations for the new Kia Super League have hit the bookshelves - well the ECB website actually. If you have an insomnia problem then here they are.
I have to admit that I have not read them in full - it's about 250 pages of riveting prose - but a couple of things have leapt out from a first glance.
The first is that the Finals Day will now only be contested by three teams and not the original four. The team that finishes top of the Super League will automatically be in the final, and the teams finishing second and third will play a semi-final, on Finals Day, with the winner meeting the top team in the final later the same day. We know that that Finals Day will be held at Chelmsford on Sunday 21st August, with the following day set aside as a reserve day for Finals Day. There are no reserve days for the league games, so if they are rained off the teams will share the points.
How points are scored in the league games is obviously crucial to the competition, and here there is another unexpected twist. For a win with bonus point there will be 3 points; for a win with no bonus point there will be 2 points and for no result each team will get 1 point. There are no points for a loss. So how is the bonus calculated? Here I have to quote the rules (sorry):-
"The team that achieves a run rate of 1.25 times that of the opposition shall be awarded one bonus point. A team's run rate will be calculated by reference to the runs scored in an innings divided by the number of overs faced."
What this means is that if a side is batting second they will need to chase down the runs needed within 16 overs to achieve a run rate of 1.25 that of their opponents. If a side bat's first then they will need to bowl out or restrict their opponents to 80% of their score - eg if they score 150, then they will have to restrict their opposition to 120 (150 x 0.8). Calculators will be needed if and when rain shortens games or intervenes half-way through games.
And speaking of rain, the third point of interest is that the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method of recalculating required scores will be used in interrupted matches. It is not a system which works well in T20 cricket in my opinion, and vastly favours the side batting second. With every point crucial I can see some feverish calculations and recalculations being undertaken, if the weather decides to intervene, and it may make winning the toss a big deal.
On first reading I almost missed perhaps the most important part - prize money!! This will be as follows :-
Winning KSL Host - £15,000
Winning KSL Host total player prize money - £25,000
Runner up KSL Host - £10,000
Runner up KSL Host total player prize money - £15,000