BSP-12 Virus forces delay of English cricket’s Hundred until 2021

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BSP-12

HEALTH-VIRUS-CRICKET-ENG

Virus forces delay of English cricket’s Hundred until 2021

LONDON, April 30, 2020 (BSS/AFP) – English cricket’s controversial new
Hundred competition has been delayed until 2021 because of the coronavirus
pandemic, cricket chiefs announced on Thursday.

The new 100-balls-per-side format, to be played by eight franchises rather
than the established 18 first-class counties, had been due to start in July.

But with the English season delayed until at least July 1 and matches
after that likely to be played behind closed doors, the England and Wales
Cricket Board has decided to hold the Hundred over until next year.

“The situation we find ourselves in as a country means that delivery of
the Hundred will not be possible this summer,” ECB chief executive Tom
Harrison in a statement.

“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.”

The ECB’s statement said playing the Hundred behind closed doors was not
an option because an event with no fans “directly contradicts the
competition’s goal to attract a broader audience”.

Global travel restrictions also mean it was not possible for star players
from other countries to take part.

BSS/AFP/MRU/1900hrs