The inaugural edition of the Hundred has been postponed until 2021 due to the massive coronavirus outbreak across the globe. The same was decided after a meeting from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Wednesday, April 29. The 100-ball tournament was earlier scheduled to be launched on July 17 with eight participating teams.
Previously, the ECB announced that there won’t be any professional cricket until July 1 at the earliest because of the uncertainties in the next few weeks. That international cricket and the T20 Blast are prioritised, the Hundred had to be pushed back until next year.
In a media release, the ECB stated the reasons behind taking the step, regarding the Hundred. “operational challenges caused by social distancing, alongside global travel restrictions, making the competition’s ambition to feature world-class players and coaches unattainable in 2020”.
Hundred will go ahead when we are safely able to deliver
Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, said that rather than cancelling the Hundred, it will be launched in 2021. He reckons that next year, there will be “an even greater need for the Hundred” when the COVID-19 scenario passes.
“The situation we find ourselves in as a country means that delivery of the Hundred will not be possible this summer. Whilst we are naturally disappointed that we won’t get to realise our ambitions this year, the Hundred will go ahead in 2021 when we are safely able to deliver everything we intended to help grow the game,” Harrison was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
“As we emerge from the fallout of Covid-19, there will be an even greater need for The Hundred. Our survival as a game, long-term, will be dependent on our ability to recover financially and continue our ambition to build on cricket’s growing fan base. That need has not gone anyway, if anything, it is now more critical,” he added.
Moeen Ali, who was appointed as the skipper of the Birmingham Phoenix, said that postponing the event “makes more sense” than launching it behind closed doors and without the overseas players. Moeen wants the tournament to happen when the problem around the world is gone as it’s a “big deal” for England.
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