ECB : Role Change Could Awaken The Hundred to Face Major Overhaul in UK
Andrew Strauss, former England captain and ECB strategic adviser, has stepped down from his role on the ECB’s performance cricket committee after recommending changes to the domestic cricket structure in last year’s high performance review.
Strauss said that “having recently taken on additional external responsibilities it is time to step away from the role”. ECB chair Richard Thompson added: “Andrew has given outstanding service to English cricket over many years in a number of different roles. I’ve greatly valued the advice and expertise he has provided in my time as chair, and have enjoyed working with him.”
At the same time, reports have emerged that the Hundred, a controversial new format only played in England, may be replaced by a new Twenty20 competition. The ECB has insisted the tournament made a profit of £11.8m over the first two season, but a separate report from Worcestershire chair and chartered accountant Fanos Hira claiming it actually lost £9m. Richard Gould and Richard Thompson both opposed The Hundred when they were in charge at Surrey, before joining the ECB.
The Telegraph has reported that the competition could be rebranded as the English Premier League and be expanded from eight teams to 18. It is claimed the existing team names would remain, with each of the 18 counties getting to host a franchise. Sky, a key broadcast partner of the tournament has said they “remain huge fans of the competition” which had “been a huge success taking the game to new audiences”.
The changes come at a time when the ECB is said to be concerned the new format has failed to catch on internationally and was not as appealing to the cream of international talent as the widely played alternative. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia are said to be planning a new lucrative cricket league, while around six current England players have reportedly been approached to sign full–time deals with IPL teams and forgo their central contracts.
Private investment and ownership are seen as key to generating more money in a bid to safeguard the sport.