India Tour of England – The Hundred: Even before a ball is bowled, The Hundred is in jeopardy. The ECB’s pet project is in danger of being rendered a mere second-class tournament as the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is considering shielding top English cricketers for the five-match series against India. That is after many top cricketers including David Warner had pulled out while Indian stars are not part of the 100-ball tournament. England’s part-time captain Ben Stokes said it would be devastating for the tournament if the ECB takes such a call.
“It would be very frustrating to not be able to participate in The Hundred. It’s a massive event for England and we want to be part of it. We know how big a role players play in making a franchise competition big, and if the Test players were unable to play in it because of Covid, that would be pretty devastating,” Ben Stokes said. He would be representing Northern Superchargers in the Hundred.
India Tour of England: The Hundred will begin from July 21 with all top stars including Joe Root and Ben Stokes besides Jonny Bairstow amongst others are set to be part of the tournament. But as they are also set to be included I the five-match Test series against India starting August 4, ECB is considering taking a call and not let them play in the mega event due to the COVID situation. If anyone contracts COVID and is ruled out of the India series, it would be devastating for the ECB as $137 million will be on line.
With COVID restrictions relaxed in the UK, ECB has been facing difficulty in containing frequent outbreaks. After ECB was forced to field a completely new side against Pakistan following 7 positive cases in the first-team camp, the county match between Derby and Essex had to be abandoned after 1st day’s play as one of the players testing positive. That is the reason why the ECB is considering moving the Test players in a bio-bubble ahead of the India series and protect them.
India Tour of England: The ECB doesn’t want to be in a situation like the Pakistan series when they needed to select an entirely new squad. With the UK’s Covid rules mandating quarantining for all close contacts if someone contracts the virus, the entire squad will be ruled and that will be devastating in terms of revenue for the ECB. Hence, the ECB wants to protect its cash cow and take a hit in The Hundred.
ENG vs IND – India Tour of England: Slew of measures ECB is taking to protect series
- The ECB is considering moving the entire Test squad to bio-bubble to protect them from Covid with restrictions in place.
- The players in bio-bubble will not be allowed to play in The Hundred as the Covid cases are on the rise in the country and amongst domestic cricketers
- As per a Daily Mail report, The ECB is aiming that players from both teams are administered both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the India tour of England.
- The five-match Test series against India is worth £100million ($137 million) to the ECB in broadcasting, commercial and ticketing revenue and an outbreak or postponement could lead to dire consequences for the governing body.
- A postponement is not a viable option considering the packed schedules, with Team India set to travel to UAE soon after the fifth Test to play in Phase 2 of the IPL, which begins five days later.
- The IPL itself was postponed after a huge spike of cases midway through the tournament in April.