Rethink: Cricket 09.06.17

Rethink Cricket NB studio 3

London studio NB offers a helping hand as the summer game struggles out of its white trousers and tries to fit into something a little more urban

The Twenty20 format has torn down some of cricket’s barriers. It’s short, fast and noisy – an action-packed evening out. Yet the average supporter in England is still white, male and 48-and-a-half years old. So the England and Wales Cricket Board has proposed a city-based competition to inspire a new generation of players and fans. This is the moment for design to play a big innings.

To reach a new generation we need cricket that is nothing like the cricket it already knows. Football feeds off rivalries that go back generations, but cricket badly needs new tribes. What would make you wear the shirt? Maybe you would feel more engaged if you could vote for the name of your hometown team – Southampton McBoatface?


Words and images

NB Studio

Rethink Cricket NB studio 1

Team colours also play a powerful role in allegiance. But cricket’s decision to give up classic ‘whites’ in favour of novelty pyjamas seems ill-judged. We think a modern heraldic system could look cool and classy. Let’s drop the long trousers and instead develop bespoke apparel for every position, from reptilian outfielders’ gloves to aerodynamic bowling skins. By mobilising the science community, we could even introduce new wearables such as liquid body armour for openers.

To fill the grounds, we should flip conventional logic when designing the experience for women and young British Asians. Imagine if VR could transport you onto the pitch and give you the full haptic experience – like a Stuart Broad delivery to your box region. And the right title sponsor could help to target the crowd – one minor hint, kids will be more receptive to burgers than financial services.

Meanwhile, we’d run a parallel junior version of the tournament with tomorrow’s stars playing in front of full houses. Or we could market a beach version so families could recreate the spectacle at Margate. Cut to 2020. It’s July and we’ve got 90,000 London Fire supporters packed in Wembley, snapchatting the warm-up gig by Beyoncé. Suddenly, it starts to pour with rain. Then what? Play on! It’s time to put on our innovation caps and embrace the limitations. It’s just not cricket. It could be much better than that.

This article first appeared in Icon 168


Rethink Cricket NB studio 2

A system of modern heraldic devices would help to establish new ‘tribes’

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