Star players and sunshine – not marketing gimmicks like ‘outs’ – will determine The Hundred’s success
I backed an eight team, city-based tournament and felt we should have one in this country to rival the IPL. I wanted a T20 city-based competition but I understand why they had to make it different from the county Blast tournament.
But what they don’t need to do is increase the division in the game that the tournament has already caused. I’m not fussed about old-school traditionalists saying they are not going to watch the competition. I have no problem with people saying they can’t affiliate with the teams, because there will be enough people out there who will buy into them.
I can understand batsmen changing to batters in this era but I don’t really get wickets to outs. That just looks like change for change’s sake.
It is always concerning, in all aspects of life, when you get consultants involved. They just want to change things. They have to justify their fees. It is rare a business pays a consultant to advise them ‘keep the status quo’.
The reason the IPL is such a massive product is because of the salaries the players are being paid. It makes it very special when you see someone like Chris Morris going for $2.2 million and we all wait to see if he can cope with the pressure.
The money spent on consultancy fees for The Hundred would have been better off going on player salaries, so having a Virat Kohli or David Warner on £1m. That is what would make the Hundred stand out.
Yes £125,000 for six weeks’ work is a lot of money in the real world but in the context of these tournaments it is not. When you can get $2.2m to play in the IPL for eight weeks and £50,000 for playing in The Hundred for four weeks, it is small fry.
As commentators we have not been told yet what we can or can’t say by the BBC. We’ve not been given a manual, so we will have to wait and see, but it will be hard not to make slip-ups. It is natural to say wickets rather than outs or batsmen instead of batters.
The reaction has been damning from some but the ECB should be happy. If the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity is true then it is great The Hundred is being talked about, is on the front pages of newspapers like The Telegraph and leading radio sports bulletins. Ben Stokes played his first game on Monday in this IPL season, but everyone was talking about The Hundred instead.
My only worry is, what next? Will cow corner be banned so as not to upset vegans?
The Hundred 2021: squad guide
The eight men’s squads for the inaugural season of The Hundred were revealed on February 23.
The women’s squads will be finalised in June.
This content was originally published here.