England and Wales Cricket Board’s outgoing chairman Colin Graves has rated creation of The Hundred as the “biggest challenge” his tenure.
The 100-ball an innings competition, which could not be launched this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, in Graves’ opinion is so lucrative that even India and other countries are looking at The Hundred.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India owns the cricket world’s richest tournament – the Indian Premier League, which commands higher sponsorship values than International Cricket Council’s multi-national global tournaments.
Graves’ opinion, shared with Sky Sports, has raised a big question? Will BCCI be eyeing yet another league in The Hundred format? The Indian cricket board was the first to launch a professional franchise-based cricket league in 2008.
Graves also believed that The Hundred will boost English cricket financially and from a playing perspective and that some of the critics are being won around.
The tournament, the brainchild and creation of Graves, will come into existence from next year. He will not be in the office when “the biggest challenge” of his tenure will finally fructify.
“The disappointment for me was to not see The Hundred take off in my last year as chairman, but it was the right decision – there was no point in doing it this year (due to Covid-19).”
“I think the biggest challenge was getting The Hundred off the ground. We had all the pushback initially but I think people are now starting to see the advantages of it,” Graves had told Sky Sports in an exclusive chat.
“I think it is the right thing to be doing and will be a valuable asset to the ECB going forward, both from a profit perspective and playing point of view.
“I think people, certainly in cricket, don’t like change. I don’t think they realised we are trying to attract a new audience – women, children and families, which we never really had come to cricket.”