Alastair Cook has backed ECB plans for a new 100-ball competition

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook has given his backing to the England and Wales Cricket Board's controversial plans to introduce a 100-ball competition.

The governing body last week announced their proposal for a brand new format, featuring 15 regular six-ball overs and one 10-ball over, to be used in the new city-based tournament that is set to launch in 2020.

It had been expected the competition would be played using Twenty20 cricket rules, like the highly-popular Indian Premier League and the Big Bash League in Australia, and the ECB's proposal came in for criticism from many quarters.

But former England captain Cook wants to see the format given a chance to see if it can thrive like T20 cricket.

"It's obviously very interesting," the 33-year-old told Sky Sports during a Chance to Shine event in Tunbridge Wells.

"If you went back to 2003 when the ECB first launched T20 cricket, if social media had been around then I'm sure quite a few people would probably have kicked up the same amount of fuss as they have here.

"It's different, it's exciting. How it all works with the County Championship and Test matches and when it's played, a lot of that (planning) is still to be done. But I think it's another interesting step for cricket.

"Cricket has made huge changes over the years and since I've started in 2003 - T20 being one of them. Let's see how it all pans out. Whether I'll be there to play I don't know but I'll certainly be watching it."

Cook's more immediate future will be spent trying to return to form for county side Essex ahead of England's Test series with Pakistan, which starts in May.

Cook struggled over the winter, with 244 of his 376 runs in the Ashes defeat to Australia coming in one innings in Melbourne, before making scores of five, two, two and 14 in a series loss in New Zealand.

And the opener is aware he needs to return to form to keep his place in the team.

He said: "It's never good when you lose the Ashes and then you lose the next series. I didn't score enough runs. I had quite a good game in Melbourne but apart from that I was pretty poor.

"I think if you play a long time, unless you're Don Bradman - which I'm certainly not - you have those periods in your career where run-making is harder than other periods.

"I think it was one of those winters where things didn't quite click. It can happen against the best bowlers in the world at the top of the order.

"The hunger's still there, the desire's still there. No one has a God-given right to play for England, you've got to score the runs to justify your place and I'm no different to anyone else."

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