Updated: May 1, 2020 9:05:10 am
The inaugural season of The Hundred was pushed again a yr on Thursday, with English cricket leaders conceding the duty of delivering their shiny and controversial competitors throughout a pandemic was too tough.
The month-long competitors was scheduled to begin on July 17 with the purpose of capitalizing on England profitable the Cricket World Cup final yr and galvanizing a brand new era of followers by way of a shorter, 100-ball format.
However, the England and Wales Cricket Board stated it won’t be doable to stage the occasion as a result of of operational challenges brought on by the present social distancing directives, in addition to international journey restrictions and the logistics of delivering an occasion whereas employees throughout home cricket are furloughed.
Matches additionally would have had to be staged in empty stadiums, which “directly contradicts the competition’s goal to attract a broader audience through a unique event experience for viewers and spectators,” the ECB stated after a board assembly.
The suspension of skilled cricket in England was prolonged final week to July 1.
ECB chief govt Tom Harrison stated there could be an excellent better want for The Hundred in 2021 as cricket appears to emerge from monetary turmoil brought on by the virus outbreak.
“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,” Harrison stated. “That need has not gone anyway. If anything, it is now more critical.”
“The Hundred,” Harrison added, “is an important element of the game’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategy, which has been debated and agreed upon across the whole game. While financially, our plans may be impacted, our ambition — to inspire a generation — should in no way be diluted.”
No particular dates have been set for the inaugural competitors in 2021.
The Hundred was set to function eight invented, city-based groups — ripping up the standard county system — and a few of the world’s largest cricket stars, and was costing a reported 58 million kilos ($71.5 million) to run in its first yr. More than 180,000 tickets have already been purchased for matches.
There was no suggestion by the ECB that the competitors will look any completely different subsequent yr, regardless of British newspaper stories that organizers might revert to 18 counties in two divisions.
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