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I have to say that I have been guilty in the past of thinking Martin Crowe was a bit unlucky with the now inevitable success of Twenty-20 cricket. I thought I remembered his format being similar to T-20, but just with 2 innings each. I thought to myself, another cracking Kiwi idea that has been stolen by someone else. I almost came close to feeling sorry for the king of smarm. That was, however, until I just read his first set of rules.

cricinfo said:
Cricket Max - The Game Invented By Martin Crowe (02 Feb 1996)

Cricket Max is a new game invented and designed by Martin Crowe with the following rationale:

"I Invented and designed Cricket Max because I felt it was time to provide to our spectators and TV viewers a game of cricket that was short in duration, very colourful, kept some old traditions and highlighted the best skills in the game."

"After 15 years of one-day cricket I could see a need for a new visual appeal in terms of the field lay-out, and the rules. This will provide great entertainment and an exciting result in 3 hours of cricket. There is far more scoring than ever before and also the potential for electric defensive work in the field. Cricket Max can be played and watched by anyone but nothing can beat seeing the best in the world display their skills in a whole match in just 3 hours."

"Kerry Packer sure did change the game back in the 70s, but now it`s time for Cricket Max to take the excitement of cricket through to the next century."

"Join us for the first game of Cricket Max on February 5, 1996."


Field of play:

A traditional oval with an inner grid and two Max zones. There is a semi-circular Max Zone at each end embracing traditional longon and long-off, and extending to the boundary. The boundary is effectively the "diameter" of the semi-circle. The inner-grid has the same purpose as the inner-ring in the one-day game, but is angular and 6-sided. Better viewed than described, it is a rectangle with indented long sides, or a double trapezium:

______________________________ \ / \ / \ / \ s / \ / \ / / \ / \ / s \ / \ / \ / \ --------------------------------


1. 2 innings of 10 8-ball overs per team. That is, 4 quarters of 10 overs each.

2. 13 players per team consisting of: 3 batsmen, 2 allrounders, 3 bowlers, 1 wicketkeeper, 4 fielders.

3. 4 stumps and 3 bails.

4. No lbw rule.

5. If a no-ball is bowled, next ball is a free hit (can`t be dismissed unless run out).

6. Wides are 2 runs credited to the batsman on strike.

7. 11 players are in the field at any one time with option of 2 on free interchange.

8. Quarter and three-quarter time, 5 minute interval. Half-time, 10 minute interval.


1. Only 5 batsmen (the 3 batsmen and 2 all-rounders) to bat with 2 innings each available.

2. When out, batsman rejoins the batting order.

3. Must lose 10 wickets to be all out (over the 2 innings).

4. Last man in bats alone, with the previous man out acting as runner.

5. Each batsman, in his 1st innings, must score 20 off his first 25 balls or he is deemed "struck out" and dismissed.

6. If ball is hit into or over the Max zone on the full, the batsman scores 12.

7. If caught inside the Max zone, the batsman is not out and scores 6.

8. If a batsman hits 3 boundaries in a row, the 3rd boundary is doubled (8 or 12).

9. Another player can be designated as a pinch hitter in the last 10 oversat any time. If dismissed, a team wicket is used up.


1. 5 bowlers (the 3 bowlers and 2 allrounders) must be used.

2. There must be at least one slow bowler.

3. 5 overs per bowler are available allowing a maximum spell of 3 overs at any time.

4. A bowler can be changed after 4 balls of any over during the crucial last 10 overs at any time. [Nothing mentioned about how this affects the 5-over rule per bowler]. It seems that the designated fielders may bowl in these circumstances.

5. Run ups start inside the inner grid.


1. In the first 10 overs, 2 fielders allowed outside the grid.

2. In the last 10 overs, 4 fielders allowed outside the grid.

3. If any fielder hits the stumps the ball is either dead or the batsman is out.

4. No fielder may be inside the Max zones at the point of delivery.

The guy was, and will always be, batty.


So unnecessarily complicated.
It wasn't successful enough because he changed and added too much at once. 20/20 is good because it's just a shortened version of what people already know.
Excellent idea, poor execution. How many businesses fail huh

Crowe just needed someone on his side with the gumption to tell Martin Crowe how it is. An understandably big ask. I guess his brother was a logical choice but his complete lack of nous/decision making was shown up at the WC final

He really could have gotten filthy rich and wouldnt have had to worry about plugging his toupee to get by

Its interesting that our top 3 world class cricketers have all had utterly bent personalities. Hadlee/Crowe/Turner
well, i think most top crickers are bit fucked in the head... even Bradman had his moments (in his administration days)

i think most of the rules in Max were interesting (a few of them were bloody stupid), but trying to introduce them all at once was insane. It's hard to believe everyone in NZ cricket went along with it... obviously over time most of those rules were dropped, or modified.

One day cricket started exactly the same as test cricket, except there was a limit of 60 overs each. I think originally there wasn't even a restriction on the number of overs a bowler could bowl. Other rules (e.g. fielding restrictions, strict rules on wides) were introduced slowly over time. If Crowe had taken that approach, he might've done better.
4 stumps... Says it all really.