He has been particularly taken by the innovations introduced to speed up the over-rate
He sees value in some of the innovations from the Hundred being used in other leagues and international cricket, particularly to speed the over-rate as some T20 matches are now taking more than four hours to complete.
“The rules were interesting,” Brathwaite said. “The rules that I think will probably come into play into mainstream T20 would be the extra fielder comes into the circle if you are past the cut-off time. I think that would give more of a team effort to get the overs in. I think T20 has got really, really slow. It was supposed to initially last less than three hours. Sometimes we’ve got T20s going on to four hours plus. So I think that will help quicken the game.
“I think two overs from the same end is probably something that could catch on as well. Again, just for speed of play. It now means that you [switch ends] 10 times instead of 20. And the idea of not crossing if the batter gets out caught – the new batter comes into bat. I think those three are ones that could potentially be implemented or phased into T20 cricket in the future.”
The top-order batting and the fast bowling stocks are very, very high and very, very deep when you look at Big Bash
“It was just something different,” Brathwaite said. “You play all over the world and one of the things you have to get accustomed to is the difference in surroundings, pitches, atmospheric conditions, cultures.
“It just forces you to tactically think about something else. I think the majority of the time it still comes down to bowling well, batting well, doing all of the clichéd things that you need to do in T20 cricket. But I think it just adds a nice tactical dimension.
“It’s just nice to see new innovations and it just kept you wondering what will happen next, who will do what, and kind of watching everything unravel and unfold is kind of exciting to be honest.”
Brathwaite spoke fondly of his time in the BBL and credited Sixers for creating one of the best team environments he has ever been part of.
Brathwaite, who has played 213 T20 matches globally, was not as downbeat on the quality of domestic T20 cricket in Australia, although he explained why he felt local players were stronger in certain elements and weaker in others.
“Obviously pace-bowling wise Australia is right up there in terms of quality and depth,” Brathwaite said. “And then batting wise, No.7 and 8 don’t bat many balls in the Big Bash. The top-order batting and the fast bowling stocks are very, very high and very, very deep when you look at Big Bash.
“I think one of the beauties of Big Bash as a top-order bat, because the pitches are so good and so true, you can play normal cricket shots from ball one to ball 120. So it feels as though you can actually pick Test players from the Big Bash because there’s no need to do anything funky.
“You can just play proper cricket shots, hit gaps, and get value for runs. So overall I think the quality of play is right up there for those reasons.”
Brathwaite did cite the two-month, 14-game long home and away season as one of the BBL’s major weaknesses.
“One of the drawbacks of the BBL is how long a tournament it is,” he said. “Whereas more of the other franchise tournaments are more compact in length. One of my favourite things about the BBL pre-Covid was the interactions with the families and the kids after the games. And I felt as though the Hundred tried to emulate that model.”
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo