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Surrey respond to ECB chairman Colin Graves' threat over new tournament

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Surrey have become embroiled in a dispute over the proposed new 100-ball tournament with embattled ECB chief Colin Graves. 

The new tournament is scheduled to begin in 2020 and is part of the ECB's efforts to throw off cricket's 'fuddy duddy' image, however, the plans have already run into controversy at this early stage.

In an interview with The Telegraph Graves insisted that the new tournament would form the cornerstone of cricket's 'new image' and that it would help the sport reach new, younger audiences in the UK. 

It was during this interview that he launched an attack on the Surrey hierarchy, who he perceived as being particularly dismissive of the tournament and even threatened to strip them of their right to host matches in the tournament.

Graves have told the county they have to be '100 per cent committed' to the plans otherwise the ECB would go elsewhere.

Surrey, however, are refusing to change their stance as they await more information on the precise make-up and financial model for the tournament while claiming the ECB are putting out mixed messages.

According to the Daily Mail, the club are disappointed by Graves' decision to publicly criticise them, especially considering that they offered to host an experimental 100-ball match in September to trial the format, but they are committed to ensuring that the tournament is viable.

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Reaction to the ongoing saga suggests that the new tournament isn't all that popular among the players either, with Middlesex off-spinner Ollie Rayner tweeting: "Literally pulling my hair out the more all this unravels.

"By searching for a new audience, they risk losing the current audience. Spend the time and money promoting what is already working globally!"

A meeting between the ECB and executives from the eight proposed host venues at the Oval on June 6 is fast becoming the date of a showdown between the two sides that could decide the fate of the tournament.

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
Surrey

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