The inaugural season of the Hundred has been cancelled until 2021. England and Wales Cricket Board put in a lot of effort to create the tournament for this year. Eight teams were going to participate in the inaugural season. ECB issued a formal press release due to covid-19 pandemic.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said that there will be no competitive cricket till 1st July. Due to a jam-packed schedule, The Hundred had to be postponed due to no window available for the high-profile competition.
ECB held a board meeting on Wednesday to discuss the future of inaugural competition. The option of cancelling the competition was ruled out. The board will make better plans for the next year to launch the inaugural tournament.
ECB Chief Executive, Tom Harrison said that the decision was tough and but the country is going through problematic period due to Covid-19 Pandemic. We have postponed the inaugural competition due to ongoing growing coronavirus cases in the country.
The main reasons behind ECB Decision are the operational issues that will occur due to global travel and social distancing. The tournament was created to attract a wide range of audience, so it could not be staged behind closed doors. The last thing is the trying to deliver a big competition across different venues was a tough task after a lot of staff have been furloughed.
Due to postponement of The Hundred, there are a lot of issues for ECB. First on the list is whether to compensate the players who were going to be part of this year’s tournament. Harrison stated that the discussions have taken place on all such issues but the competition will remain more or less be the same as it was expected to be this year.
Last week, there were reports that ECB would scrap both the competitions due to financial crisis surrounding the game and the huge risk in launching a new competition in the country. However, Harrison made it clear that The Hundred is certainly going to be the premier tournament in the country in the future. The Hundred was always believed to a money-making product for ECB. Despite its postponed this year, Harrison believed that it will give them more time to launch the tournament in a better way.
The Hundred was designed in order to promote and grow the game of cricket to new audiences, across diverse communities. Harrison said that there are a lot of challenges for the game of cricket once the pandemic comes to end in the future.
ECB Chief also confirmed his full-support and encouragement to women’s cricket in the country. He said that growing the game of cricket among young girls was their utmost priority. He stated that the cricket board need to make decisions so that women’s cricket can grow and reach wide range of audiences.