The England and Wales Cricket Board has declared to invest $231 million in next five years on the planned new short-format competition called ‘Hundred’.
ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison has confirmed the figure in London at the presentation of a strategy document called “Inspiring Generations”, outlining the governing body’s plans for the development of the new league and cricket in general in the territory.
The ECB has proposed to launch the ‘Hundred’ in 2020.
Harrison also sounded confident that elite players from around the globe will take part in the competition. The chief executive of the ECB has insisted the eight-team domestic competition, in which matches will be 100 balls per side, 20 balls per innings fewer than Twenty20, the shortest existing senior format, is central to plans to develop the English game between 2020 and 2024.
“I think we will be very successful in getting players to come over,” Harrison told reporters in London when asked if the world’s best cricketers would take part in a new event given their extensive international commitments and participation in lucrative Twenty20 tournaments such as the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash.
Since being announced in April 2018, information about the new 100-ball format has been kept as tight secret by the board. The name of the tournament, teams, players or sponsors – nothing has been revealed by the ECB as yet. This was the first time that the English board has come out in open and spoken about the new league during unveiling a new five-year strategy document echoing the London 2012 Olympics with the title “Inspiring Generations”.
The 35-page plan for the period of 2020 to 2024 covered the broad topics of widening the sport’s appeal, safeguarding its future and encouraging growth at the grassroots level. Harrison declared that the new tournament will bring in new audiences for the game of cricket in England. “The new competition is being designed to appeal to cricket fans first and foremost, but then it’s also for a broader audience,” he said.
Although Harrison insisted the T20 Blast “can coexist with the new competition and both can flourish” because “the market can take further growth” he must be aware of the risk that comes with putting all of your precious eggs into a single basket made of an untested material.