Are you all set for The 6IXTY: cricket’s power game?
First there was 50-over ODI cricket. Then there was T20 cricket that gave rise to a fiercely contested World Cup every couple of years, the IPL, CPL and a host of other franchise-based domestic T20 tournaments.
And then in 2021 in England there was The Hundred. As the name suggests, a total of 100 legal balls per innings are all the batting side gets in a competition that has caught the imagination of the cricketing public with its monster hits, lightning pace, big-name players and slightly tweaked rules.
And now there’s The 6IXTY. Here’s what you need to know about this one.
What is The 6IXTY?
It’s a Caribbean-based franchise tournament that will run from the 24th till the 28th of August and will serve as a warm-up for the 20-over Caribbean Premier League, which starts just a few days after The 6IXTY ends.
The 6IXTY will be contested by the same six teams that play in the CPL: Jamaica Tallawahs, Trinbago Knight Riders, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Saint Lucia Kings, Barbados Royals, and Guyana Amazon Warriors.
A men and women’s tournament will run concurrently with all fixtures played at Warner Park in St Kitts. The men’s teams will each play three matches between the 25th and 27th August and the Top 4 will progress to the semi-finals, which are played on the 28th of August. The semis will then be followed by the Women’s Final, which in turn will be followed by the Men’s Final.
Everyone will be playing for the right to own The Universe Boss Trophy, in honour of Chris Gayle. More on that in a bit.
What are The 6IXTY rules?
- It’s a 60-ball per innings game with 30 balls bowled from one end before the final 30 are bowled from the other end.
- Teams can lose a maximum of six wickets. If they lose their six before the sixty balls are bowled, their innings comes to an end.
- The 30 balls are divided into five overs of six balls. No bowler can bowl more than two overs, meaning a minimum of five bowlers must be used.
- Teams have two Powerplay overs with fielding restrictions. But they can unlock a third one if they manage to hit two sixes within the first two overs/first 12 legal deliveries. The extra Powerplay over can be taken at any time between overs 3-9.
- A good game is a quick game! Fielding sides who do not bowl their allotted overs within the time period will have a member of their team removed from the field for the last six balls, meaning they will field with just ten players for that last over.
- Fans will vote for the timing of a ‘Mystery Free Hit’. When it comes around, the batsman can’t be dismissed from that ball but can obviously score off it.
Which players will be in action?
Just about all the West Indies stars, who will feature in the CPL the week after, will be in action here, as well. Many of them are also stars of the national side.
These include star batsmen like Shai Hope, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Jermain Blackwood and Windies ODI and T20 skipper Nicholas Pooran, who will be turning out for the Trinbago Knight Riders.
From among the bowlers you can feast your eyes on the skills of Alzarri Joseph, Sunil Narine, Jayden Seales, Hayden Walsh Jr, Obed McCoy and Akeal Hosein.
All-rounders on show will feature Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd, Kyle Mayers, Fabian Allen and Odean Smith.
But there will be some overseas stars getting stuck in as well: the Irish run machine Paul Stirling, Pakistani bowlers Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim, South African batsmen Dwayne Pretorius and Heinrich Klassen, and New Zealand keeper/batsman Tim Seifert.
Did we forget someone? Oh, Chris Gayle will be there as well.
Universe Boss running the show
10CRIC’s Ambassador Chris Gayle, The Universe Boss, is at the forefront of this new tournament.
Not only was Gayle involved in the creation of the format and its specific rules, but he will also be the tournament’s Ambassador and its host, performing promotional duties whenever possible and making sure everyone has as good a time as they can, whether that’s on or off the field.
But he wouldn’t be Chris Gayle if he wasn’t hitting some 100-metre plus sixes of his own now and then. Gayle will also be turning out for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, the team with which he won the CPL with last year.
In fact, Gayle is so committed to this new format that he’s fully focused on it to the extent that he’s sitting out the 2022 edition of the CPL. In his own words:
“I am sure people will ask if this is real, a trophy named for Chris Gayle. Yes, it is happening, and I am really happy about it. I am looking forward to all the innovations.”Chris Gayle
Gayle in numbers
Wondering why Gayle and The 6IXTY are a match made in heaven? Here are a few clues:
- No-one has more runs, more hundreds, more sixes or more 50+ scores in T20 cricket than the Universe Boss.
- Gayle is the only player in history to score a triplet of centuries: 300 in a Test match, 200 in an ODI and a century in T20.
- He’s the West Indies’ most capped player ever across the three formats with just under 500 appearances.
- His 175 off 66 for RCB in the IPL is the highest-ever individual score in T20 cricket.
Who can win the trophy?
Trinbago Knight Riders have every box ticked.
Out of the three possible winners of the inaugural season of The 6IXTY: Guyana Amazon Warriors, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, and Trinbago Knight Riders, we think TKR have every box ticked.
In Kieron Pollard they have the former Windies white-ball skipper and in Nicholas Pooranthe current one; they’re two of the best batsmen in the world in the shorter formats.
Experienced mystery spinner Sunil Narine is joined by impressive twirler Akeal Hosein, while Jayden Seales and Ravi Rampaul provide the pace option.
And if all else goes wrong, there’s ‘Superman’ Andre Russell to win the game on his own… Overall, TKR look beautifully balanced and full of batting power so could be the team to beat.