ECB chair confirms The Hundred's future until 2028 | Business Upturn

ECB chair confirms The Hundred’s future until 2028

The Hundred, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) eight-team, 100-ball tournament, is here to stay until at least the end of 2028 and is expected to have a successful future beyond that, according to ECB Chair Richard Thompson.

Rumors had circulated last month that Thompson and ECB Chief Executive Richard Gould, both of whom previously held the same positions at Surrey County Cricket Club, were considering potential adjustments or even the scrapping of The Hundred.

However, in an interview with the Cricketer magazine, Thompson dismissed these claims, stating that there had been “a lot of misreporting” regarding the tournament’s future. He emphasized that The Hundred is part of the ECB’s broadcast deal with Sky Sports, which is set to run until the end of 2028.

“We’re committed to The Hundred until 2028, and there has been a lot of misreporting around that,” Thompson clarified. “The reality is that The Hundred is in partnership with Sky until 2028, and I’m confident it will continue to thrive even beyond that period.” Earlier this week, the ECB announced that Sanjay Patel, the managing director of The Hundred, would be stepping down from his role at the conclusion of this summer’s edition. In the announcement, Gould expressed his optimism for a “long and successful future” for The Hundred.

Earlier this year, a report by Fanos Hira, the Chair of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, suggested that The Hundred had incurred a £9 million loss to date, a figure disputed by the ECB. Thompson addressed this issue, stating, “The report examines the income and cost base of the ECB, and The Hundred contributes positively to the game as a whole. This includes the £1.3 million that each county receives annually, which is directly linked to The Hundred. The game has made a significant financial investment to attract a new audience, which it has successfully achieved. It is an investment in the future.”

There have been discussions about the possibility of private investment in The Hundred over the past two years. Thompson commented, “We are only in the third year of this new tournament, and the decision on private investment will ultimately rest with the game itself. It is not solely an ECB decision.”

In 2023, The Hundred will take place from August 1 to 27 in a standalone window, ensuring that it does not clash with any England men’s or women’s international cricket fixtures. Consequently, the final Test match of the English summer is scheduled to conclude on July 31. Thompson asserted that such a scenario will not occur again, stating, “It doesn’t feel right to finish the Test season in July as it makes the whole season feel condensed. The decision was made due to a significant number of white-ball internationals taking place in September. The aim was to maximize our chances of defending the 50-over World Cup, which starts in October. However, we certainly do not want a situation where we are only playing one format or tournament as we are currently doing. The Test summer will not be squeezed in this manner in the future.”