Pumping up the volume is not the answer for The Hundred - Chris Waters

JUST when many of us thought that we couldn’t possibly be looking forward with any more enthusiasm to the start of The Hundred, along comes word of a new initiative designed to make the tournament even more exciting.

MUSIC ADDITION: The Hundred Draft. Picture: Christopher Lee/Getty Images for ECB.

The competition has teamed up with BBC Music Introducing to guarantee live artists at every match, while each of the eight franchises will have their own special DJ providing everything from walk-out music to game reaction sounds.

“I am SO excited to be involved in The Hundred and to be the Team DJ for the Northern Superchargers,” says DJ Emily Pilbeam in the press release announcing her involvement with the Headingley-based franchise.

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“I’ve lived in Headingley over the past few years so to be involved in something so close to home is really exciting.”

Northern Superchargers' Ben Stokes looks on prior to The Hundred Draft. Picture: Alex Davidson/Getty Images for ECB

While one naturally wishes Emily all the best, with the promo material stating that she will be “curating a unique soundtrack, reflective of the city and the people, players and artists within it”, it is fair to say that this initiative – much like The Hundred itself – will not be everyone’s idea of fun.

Indeed, as someone whose two favourite things in life are actually music and sport, in that order, it might be imagined that I myself would be turning cartwheels of joy as we edge closer to the competition that starts in July.

But as artists such as Lady Sanity, Jerub and Coach Party (who they?) prepare to wow spectators in the coming weeks, all I can say is that this threatens to have as much to do with music as I personally define it as the tournament itself has to do with cricket.

As I wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, clutching my wet blanket hard to my chest, all I can envisage is wall-to-wall sound – from the pre-match build-ups to the post-match interviews, an endless din while B-list overseas players attempt to whack every ball out of the ground in front of cricket’s great untapped new audience.

Emily Pilbeam: Resident DJ.

Which, in a roundabout way, got me thinking, for have you noticed how sport and noise increasingly go hand in hand these days?

One can no longer attend a football match, for example, without some screaming halfwit whipping up the crowd into an hysterical state – “make some noise for the boys”, and so on, as the teams take to the field.

In cricket, from the T20 Blast to the Indian Premier League, the game, increasingly, is an aural affront.

Yet part of its beauty, part of its charm, is in its many natural sounds – the gentle hum that you hear on the first morning of a Test match, the random conversations that you pick up as you walk around the ground during a Championship fixture, and so on. It is the sort of noise that complements the action and allows it to breathe.

To the organisers of The Hundred, though, wall-to-wall noise equates to one thing – wall-to-wall excitement.

Plenty of quickfire matches with plenty of fours and sixes, all to the backdrop of as much racket as possible – including that made by presenters/match-day hosts.

Of course, no-one is suggesting that the sport should proceed in a funereal atmosphere, but we have reached the opposite end of the decibel spectrum.

Unfortunately, quicker and louder does not mean the most important thing – better.

Strikingly, pitiably in fact, the press release announcing The Hundred’s tie-up with BBC Music Introducing speaks of how we will see sport and entertainment collide on a scale “never seen before”.

It references “a ground-breaking music programme that is integrated into a world-class sporting event, unlike anything that has been delivered”.

It promises “a summer of unforgettable sport and epic entertainment”, with the game “at its intense, electrifying and incredible best”.

Methinks that the organisers of The Hundred doth protest too much.

This is a tournament, you will recall, that has been utterly lambasted by cricket supporters.

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