Hundred faces delay if season shortened
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?”