ECB announce playing conditions for The Hundred

"I can't commit to the involvement of India players."

(Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), on Thursday, announced the playing conditions for the much-awaited The Hundred tournament, set to be launched next year. The tournament will see eight teams from different cities fighting it out for the top prize.  The event will take place during a five-week period in the summer of 2020.

The soon-to-be-launched competition will have quite a few new rules. Each team will have a maximum off 100 deliveries to face.  Bowlers will deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls but are restricted to a maximum of 20 per match. There will also be a change of ends after every 10 deliveries. Each fielding side will get a strategic timeout of up to two and a half minutes. A 25-ball powerplay will start each side’s innings, where only two fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

The playing conditions were proposed by the ECB’s Cricket Committee and ratified by the ECB Board late last year. The board then put the playing conditions in front of the 18 first-class counties for their votes. The final vote was received this week and the format was accepted by 17 of the 18 counties.

“This is a significant step, with overwhelming support for The Hundred. Over the last three years we have worked closely with the whole game to create an important opportunity for the whole game,” said ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison as quoted by Cricbuzz.

Harrison also revealed how the new format has helped the ECB enjoy new partnership and consequently a financial windfall. At the same time, he also said that the ECB will remain committed to the existing formats of the game.

“This new competition has already helped to secure vital new partnerships and substantial broadcast revenues and it will help us to meet the ambitions of our game-wide strategy for 2020-24. The Hundred will help cricket to reach more people. We remain totally committed to the existing, popular forms of cricket and will be committing significant funds and focus to all levels of the game, protecting and nurturing the core whilst reaching out to a wider audience,” he said.

‘Indians unlikely in The Hundred’:

Harrison also admitted that the involvement of Indian players in the tournament is very much unlikely. Unlike all the other cricket boards in the world, the BCCI does not permit its players to ply their trades in franchise tournaments outside the country.

“I can’t commit to the involvement of India players,” Harrison said. “It’s a political conversation as much as anything.

“It’s a difficult conversation. It’s not just the ECB and The Hundred that will be keen to get Indian players involved. Clearly, that’s a wider discussion,” he added.

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