England’s white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan has thrown on Friday (27 April) his support behind the controversial 100-ball tournament concept of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), saying they need to accept change to keep the future of the game of cricket alive in the UK.
ECB’s The Hundred tournament will get underway from 2020 and will see eight teams competing in the tournament, which will consist of 15 six-ball overs and a final over of 10 balls.
Many denied accepting the change, but Morgan, who was one of the three players –England women's captain Heather Knight and Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) Chairman Daryl Mitchell, who were consulted before the announcement of the Hundred, believes that the tournament will certainly help in growing the game and attracting new cricket fans in the country.
As per reports in The Guardian, Morgan said: “Participation levels have been going down and we need to do something different to change the sport’s reputation and the perceived barriers. If we stay rigid and don’t change then the sport will die. One of the most complicated things is if you go to a cricket ground and don’t know what’s going on, you look at the scoreboard for an indication but there are so many numbers and names. So you eliminate that part of the equation and break it down to its simplest form.”
Meanwhile, he told ESPN Cricinfo, “When they came to the idea of the 100-ball scenario, I really enjoyed it. It's cricket at its simplest and coming from a background in an area that's not very cricket orientated, I suppose I had a reasonable view on things, because I'm not tied to one format, or appealing to one certain audience. I want to get something forward that's going to appeal to everybody.”
He explained, “It sounds different; it sounds like something is there to create a really good, viable product to sell to people outside of cricket. I have a lot of friends outside of cricket that would never come to a cricket match, but have already said they enjoy that there's been a little bit of noise about it, because it's upsetting people that already come to the game. I think having the new format on terrestrial television, is a huge opportunity for us to go into people's living rooms and grab their attention for a short space of time in the evening, which I think could be great for the game.”
Morgan signed off by saying, “And that is the point of it. We're trying to grow the game. Cricket participation levels have been going down for quite a while, and we need to do something different to change the reputation of the sport, or the perceived barriers that need to be broken down in order to play the sport.”