With the backing of the BCCI, England’s Colin Graves is touted to replace Shashank Manohar as the chairperson of the International Cricket Council, according to a few sources. This might pave the way for top Indian Cricketers to take part in the Hundred from next year.
A new version of limited-overs cricket, the inaugural edition of ‘The Hundred’ was scheduled to commence this July but had to be deferred to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be tagged along with India’s tour of England next year.
England will require complete support from the BCCI to recover from the financial blow it has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has been quoted in the British press saying that the English board has been talking to BCCI to release Indian players for the 100-ball-a-side tournament. The BCCI restricts its players to take part in overseas franchise tournaments.
“We want something that has global relevance, real commercial power, something that the whole game has ownership of and that reduces our reliance on international cricket, which is currently responsible for more than 90 per cent of our revenue,” Harrison told The Cricketer. Fresh contracts will be given out to the players since the old ones have been terminated.
Oakwell Sports Advisory, a consultancy group, has suggested ‘The Hundred’ must attract leading Indian players and investors to make the tournament a success. In a report entitled The Impact of Covid-19 on English Cricket, Oakwell states: “The Hundred needs to be able to attract Indian players and subsequently an Indian fanbase, too. The Indian subcontinent constitutes 90% of the 1 billion cricket fans aged 16-69 globally. Indian investment into the Hundred, including from IPL team owners, may facilitate the involvement of Indian players in the longer term. In addition to generating revenue out of India, this would be vital in unlocking the south-Asian UK-based fanbase.”