The 156th edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, released on Thursday, has slammed English cricket’s controversial new 100-ball professional competition as ‘Brexit of cricket’ and added that the innovation has “hung over the game like Sword of Damocles”.
The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, described as the ‘Bible of Cricket’, has offered a highly sceptical take on The Hundred, cricket’s shortest format to debut on English domestic circuit next year. “All the while The Hundred hung over the English game like the Sword of Damocles, suspended only by the conviction of a suited few. Some preferred a modern analogy: this was cricket’s Brexit, an unnecessary gamble that had overshadowed all else, gone over budget and would end in tears,” writes Wisden Editor Lawrence Booth.
“But the analogy was imperfect: where Brexit had plenty of advocates, it was difficult to find anyone beyond a small group within the ECB’s offices who believed that cricket – its fixture list already unfathomable – needed a fourth format.”
The editorial has slammed the “shambolic launch” of the competition. It also scrutinises ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, The Hundred’s most passionate supporter. “When he (Harrison) denies the game is taking an almighty punt, you wonder whether ambition has clouded his judgement,” states the article.