Separate window for the Hundred, BBL in ICC's next FTP cycle

Home-season windows for the Hundred and the BBL respectively in England and Australia's schedules have been proposed in the ICC's latest near-final draft.

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Southern Brave
Southern Brave are champions after The Hundred Final. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

ICC’s latest Future Tours Programme’s (FTP) near-final draft has all but confirmed the extended IPL window of two and a half months every year. Along with the IPL, England’s premier white-ball tournament, the Hundred and Australia’s Big Bash League are also set to receive small windows to ensure the successful running of the respective tournaments.

The England and Wales Cricket Board(ECB) and Cricket Australia (CA) have struggled in the previous season to feature their star players in their respective white-ball leagues due to the hectic international schedule. Although they won’t have an extended window like IPL, which brings international cricket to a halt, they will have smaller windows between international fixtures at the time.

Meanwhile, this major development was reported by ESPNcricinfo. ECB launched the Hundred last year which was a resounding success even though some of England’s best players like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Joe Root only featured in two matches due to their international commitments. Nonetheless, the latest window will ensure that the fans will get a chance to see their best players taking part in the upcoming editions.

CA have also faced similar issues recently as the fans believe the BBL has lost some of its popularity due to the absence of some of the most prominent players from their respective franchises due to involvement with the Australian team on the international stage. Although the proposed window is set to help them conduct their premier white-ball league, their international commitments are still going to clash with the BBL.

Ben Stokes’s omission from the Hundred highlights the need for a window from international cricket

The most recent example of the hectic schedules is the omission of Ben Stokes from England’s T20I squad for the series against South Africa. The southpaw, who led England to a historic series win against New Zealand last month and followed it with a victory against India in the rescheduled fifth Test, is part of the ODI team engaging India in a three-match series.

The ECB recently announced that the all-rounder will take no part in the upcoming second edition of the Hundred and has been handed a much-deserved rest to concentrate on red-ball cricket. The proposed window will help avoid situations like these in the future as the players will have more time in between international matches and domestic commitments.

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