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Latest Updates on England Cricket during the coronavirus pandemic

ECB fears the loss of 800 days of professional and international cricket if the entire season is canceled and this could be the biggest financial challenge in their history. Read more updates on English Cricket.

Ritik Goel
Last updated: 07.05.2020
Latest Updates on England Cricket during the coronavirus pandemic | Sports Social Blog

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The Hundred has been postponed to 2021


The England and Wales Cricket Board has opted for postponing the much-anticipated ‘The Hundred’ tournament to 2021 instead of going ahead with a damp and uncertain beginning amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although it was expected to make a profit of around 11 million pounds for the ECB, playing it without fans and possibly without some international stars who were originally slated to play makes the prospect of holding the tournament this year dull. 


Following the announcements, the coaches have raised concerns about the outlook of the squads next year because there will be a gap of almost 2 years between the first draft and the first match of the tournament. Some players may have retired, some may have lost their touch while some young players may have risen up the ranks. Moreover, there are question marks about the Kolpak deal which is due to expire in December 2020

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Following such concerns, the ECB has terminated the players’ contracts for The Hundred through a ‘force majeure’ clause and has opened discussions with Professional Cricketers’ Association and other stakeholders to work out the situation.


KKR is looking to invest in The Hundred


The Telegraph newspaper reported that the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders is looking to invest in The Hundred. However, Venky Mysore, the CEO of KKR clarified the situation by saying that they will consider investing in The Hundred if they are approached. He said, “We are the biggest brand in the IPL and perhaps the only global brand in cricket. So we can understand why leagues around the world would be interested in getting the Knight Riders on board.”


It must be noted that KKR has a presence in other leagues too. They purchased the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League in 2015 and also purchased Cape Town Franchise in South Africa’s global T20 league which, however, was cancelled.


ECB fears to lose 380 million pounds this year


“We anticipate the cost of no cricket this year could be as bad as 380 million pounds. That is the worst-case scenario for us,” said Tom Harrison, the CEO of ECB. 


ECB fears the loss of 800 days of professional and international cricket if the entire season is canceled and this could be the biggest financial challenge in their history. The postponement of The Hundred which was supposed to generate a profit of 11 million pounds has made the financial situation even more miserable. 


Cricket Australia is another major cricketing body which is suffering a financial crisis owing to the current pandemic.


ECB hopeful of resumption of cricket in July


Several reports have come suggesting that England is hopeful of starting the season on July 8 (tentatively) by hosting the West Indies for a 3-match test series. The West Indies has offered to host the series earlier as the Caribbean is among the lesser-affected areas. However, no further developments have taken place in that regard.


England is targeting two grounds: The Rose Bowl in Southampton and the Old Trafford in Manchester owing to the presence of hotels in the stadiums. 


England earlier rescheduled the 2-match test series against Sri Lanka to January-February next year. As far as the domestic season is concerned, there is no clarity yet.


Men’s international cricket could be prioritized in England this year


Clare Connor, ECB’s Managing Director of women’s cricket believes that prioritizing men’s cricket over women’s will only safeguard the future of women’s cricket. “If the international women’s schedule cannot be fulfilled in full but a large number of international men’s programmes can this summer, which is going to reduce the 380 million hole, we have to be realistic about that.”


It is reasonable to agree with Clare because if cricket is likely to happen behind closed doors then men’s cricket may generate more broadcast revenue than women’s cricket.


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