Hun­dred faces de­lay if sea­son short­ened

The Guardian - - Sport Football - Ali Martin

The Hun­dred faces the prospect of be­ing pushed back to 2021 should the coro­n­avirus pan­demic re­duce this year’s English cricket sea­son to two months or fewer. This cut­off point has been re­vealed by Tim Bo­s­tock, Durham’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, fol­low­ing talks between the coun­ties and the Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board last week that re­sulted in matches be­ing sus­pended un­til 28 May at the ear­li­est.

The ECB finds it­self work­ing through nu­mer­ous sce­nar­ios for pos­si­ble starts in June, July and Au­gust, with in­ter­na­tional cricket, the T20 Blast and the Hun­dred given pri­or­ity in or­der to max­imise rev­enues for the sport. Should the Au­gust sce­nario come to pass then Bo­s­tock be­lieves the ECB’s new eight-team 100-ball tour­na­ment may have to make way, while the prospect of any County Cham­pi­onship cricket be­ing staged would also be slim.

Bo­s­tock told The Cricket Col­lec­tive on TalkS­port 2: “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. [The ECB chief ex­ec­u­tive] Tom Har­ri­son has been re­ally prag­matic about this. I cer­tainly get the im­pres­sion if we get a two-month sea­son the prag­matic view would be what’s the point of launch­ing this com­pe­ti­tion now?”

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