How coronavirus scuppered the fast-paced world The Hundred was designed for

If there is one thing to take from The Hundred being the first competition the England & Wales Cricket Board took off the schedule, it is that it is regarded as the most valuable.

Just as you might look for the possession dearest to you before you flee a burning building, the ECB have taken their prized new competition under its arm to safety from the wreckage that is 2020. The Hundred will have incubated for four years before it sees the light of day. With so much resting on its opening success – or “leveraged against it” if you are of the anti-Hundred persuasion – this is just the first of many steps to much-needed clarity.

One by one, statements from sponsors came through. Quickest out the blocks was official team partner KP snacks. After ECB chief executive Tom Harrison had done the rounds on the major broadcast shareholders Sky and the BBC, their marketing teams followed suit. Everyone is sticking together. As they should.

Players will want assurances around the 80 per cent of their respective pay which was due at the completion of the tournament. Not guarantees, per se, but those without central contracts will look for a further portion of their remaining pay to be released, say, at the start of next summer. For the men’s competition, the trickiest issues centre around personnel.

Cricketers with Kolpak registrations that will be rendered obsolete at the end of 2020 will be particularly on edge with a total of 14 were picked up in the draft as “local players”. Their places in county cricket will largely be catered for with the introduction of an extra overseas slot across the 18-team formats, but that gets a little trickier when it comes to The Hundred where teams like Welsh Fire and Manchester Originals have more than one Kolpak in their ranks.


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