Despite Alec Stewart’s belief that The Hundred could go ahead as planned in July, talks between counties and the ECB have revealed that the competition could be pushed back to 2021 if the rest of the cricket season is reduced.
The T20 Blast and the Hundred have supposedly been given priority in order to maximise revenues for the sport, particularly the women’s game. Durham chief-executive Tim Bostock has revealed however, that if this year’s season is reduced to two months or even fewer, there may be no way to accommodate these competitions, with international matches still taking precedent.
Bostock told the cricket collective “It’s pretty clear international cricket comes first, then after that it’s the Blast and the Hundred. That’s where the revenue is. Protecting the Hundred is important, although in the conversations I’ve had with the ECB, if it ends up getting squeezed and a two-month season – which is possible – a view will be taken about whether this is really the right time to launch the Hundred.”
England women are due to host India and South Africa in home series this summer, with the first against India, scheduled shortly before The Hundred is supposed to get going. Whilst, fans and players alike are understandably keen for the inaugural season of ECB’s new flagship competition to go ahead, it seems foolish to launch a toned down, revised format of the tournament in these circumstances.
As well as problems surrounding scheduling, the ECB are also discussing various measures to protect cricketers themselves, as the full extent of economic damage as a result of Covid-19 becomes clearer.
- Sport England wants everyone to stay active in self-isolation
- Canada withdraws from Olympics and Paralympics throwing the games into further doubt
- Top ten female athletes who are giving back during the Coronavirus pandemic