'It’s a missed opportunity' - Mark Butcher feels ECB should've accepted BCCI's offer and have Kohli, Dhoni in return from The Hundred

‘It’s a missed opportunity’ – Mark Butcher feels ECB should’ve accepted BCCI’s offer and have Kohli, Dhoni in return from The Hundred

The ECB’s proposed 100-ball format was set to begin last year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board decided to shift by a year.

Mark Butcher
Mark Butcher. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images for the PCA)

Cricketer-turned commentator Mark Butcher has an interesting take on the Indian Premier League (IPL) resuming in England. Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had reportedly requested the England Cricket Board (ECB) regarding tweaking the schedule of the five-match Test series by a week to accommodate the remaining 31 matches of the IPL 2021 season.

ECB, however, denied it and stated it will start the series as per the original schedule. Butcher felt the ECB should have agreed to the request as it would have allowed a few Indian players to participate in The Hundred which is slated to begin in July. The former England opener believes ECB missed a golden opportunity on having a few marquee Indian players for its inaugural edition of The Hundred.

“Well, listen. I take a deep breath here … as does the nation,” Butcher said on the latest Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast. “I think it’s a massive missed opportunity.”

Mark Butcher feels the ECB missed a good chance of getting marquee India players for The Hundred

The ECB’s proposed 100-ball format was set to begin last year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board decided to shift by a year. Now the tournament is ready to roll and Butcher felt the likes of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni could have been part of the spectacle.

“…the ECB is absolutely desperate to make this work. They have to be, they have bet the house on The Hundred, but at every turn, it seems a greater power doesn’t want it to happen. And so for me, this was the opportunity where you’ll say ‘Okay, we’ll bite the bullet… We would do this for the BCCI on the provision that we get Kohli, Dhoni, whoever we like, signed up for three years to play in The Hundred, starting 2022’,” Butcher added.

The Hundred has already managed to grab eyeballs as it has eight men’s and women’s teams in it. India women’s players Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, and Jemimah Rodrigues are set to represent Manchester Originals, Southern Brave, London Spirit, and Northern Superchargers respectively in the inaugural edition of the competition.

The second leg of the 14th edition of IPL is set to resume tentatively from September after India finishes their England tour.