COVID-19: ECB evaluates The Hundred postponement, says report

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The Hundred, 100-ball-a-side franchisee-based professional tournament of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), may reportedly become the latest global sport event to be deferred in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ECB, according to The Times of India, may take a call on its ambitious commercial property soon. “The ECB heads had internally discussed postponing The Hundred by a month very recently, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. At that time, it seemed like a realistic approach. What seems more realistic right now is posting The Hundred to 2021. The current situation leaves ECB with no better choice,” the daily has stated a well-placed source as saying.

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The Hundred this year is slated from July 17 to August 15.

It is feared that lockdown, imposed in England after Prince Charles and Prime Minster Boris Johnson have tested for novel Coronavirus, can be extended up to six months. In such a scenario there remains no hope for the ECB to conduct The Hundred.

“Ideally, the postponement of the 2020 Olympics should’ve held the ECB in good stead. But that is not the case anymore. Travel bans are likely to stay in place for all of the English summer. A thorough postponement is the only choice,” say sources.

Ticket sales for The Hundred were set to commence in the first week of April and have now been indefinitely delayed.

Sanjay Patel, managing director, The Hundred, said: “In the midst of an epidemic which is affecting the nation in unprecedented ways, it would be wholly inappropriate for us to promote and sell tickets to The Hundred. We appreciate this may cause some disappointment to fans that were keen to purchase tickets in the April sales window, accessing early bird prices and securing tickets to the most in-demand games.”

“We have begun modelling a range of options to start the season in June, July or August – with an immediate focus on options for cricket in June, including the three-Test series against West Indies, the Vitality Blast and England Women’s schedule against India. Properties scheduled for later in the season, including The Hundred, are also being reviewed.

“Close liaison with the Government will continue, with discussions on the potential of starting the season behind closed doors and giving sports fans the opportunity to enjoy live action”, the ECB has told the daily, without confirming or denying the status of the league.

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