ECB chief Tom Harrison backs "The Hundred" to succeed despite Virat Kohli's scepticism 

The Indian captain had expressed his reservations about the idea.

ECB feels "The Hundred" can help popularise the sport further in United Kingdom | Getty

England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) chief Tom Harrison is not worried about Virat Kohli's concerns and expects "The Hundred" kickstarting next year to be appreciated by the cricket lovers around the world. 

While the Indian captain had called for simplicity to be maintained by persisting with the game's traditional formats, Harrison has insisted that the eight teams' city-based competition, in which matches will be 100 balls per side - 20 balls per innings fewer than Twenty20 - is central to ECB's plans to develop English cricket from 2020 till 2024.

"I think we will be very successful in getting players to come over," Harrison told the reporters on Monday, January 14 intimating that the big Internationals names are more than willing to reciprocate their participation from the Indian Premier League(BBL) and the Big Bash League(BBL). 

Virat in an interview with Wisden Cricket Monthly had expressed his reservations with "The Hundred" and any such new experiment, by saying, "I’m already very…I wouldn’t say frustrated but sometimes it can get very demanding of you when you have to play so much cricket regularly."

"I feel somewhere the commercial aspect is taking over the real quality of cricket and that hurts me. I don’t want to be a testing sort of a cricketer for any new format."

The ECB has planned to spend £180 million on The Hundred over the next five years, as Harrison bemoaned "myth" that the tournament is designed solely to appeal to newer audiences and not traditional cricket lovers. 

"The new competition is designed to appeal to cricket fans. There is room for growth…The competition is designed to do a certain job. We cannot keep relying on the same audience. Cricket can be bigger. Success in five years times will be people saying ‘cricket is a game for me," he said. 

(Inputs from AFP)


By Kashish Chadha - 15 Jan, 2019

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