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By Adam Ellis
The PCA has arranged a meeting with ECB to discuss the new 100-ball league, The Hundred, set to launch in 2020, after the players’ union surveyed the opinions of 85% of its members who had concerns for the future of the game.
On Monday, one PCA representative described the proposal as a ‘joke’ and ‘gimmick’ by the ECB to change the eight-team league’s format from the originally planned T20 format to a new 100-ball idea which includes a 10-ball final over.
And in a statement released by the PCA on Wednesday pinpointed the lack of clarity over plans for the tournament that were unsettling county players.
The statement read: “The major concern of the players is around the lack of information and clarity regarding the new tournament. The future of domestic cricket as a whole was a lead topic with a fear the 50-over competition is being devalued with no clear pathway to One Day International cricket while there is apprehension on how the County Championship will fit into the structure. Restrictions on being released to play overseas is also an area the PCA will seek clarification on.
“After completing the round of visiting all 18 First Class Counties earlier this month, the Professional Cricketers’ Association has consolidated players’ views and will now take these up with the ECB.”
The ECB notified PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell and Worcestershire opening batsman of the 100-ball idea three weeks ago and with the ECB moving forward with plans for The Hundred, Mark Wallace’s successor provided the following update.
“Over the past two months we have had face-to-face discussions with over 85% of the current playing membership and listened to issues that are directly affecting players,” said Mitchell, who took the reins off Wallace in February 2017.
“We have had extremely open conversations and listened to every viewpoint across the counties. These have all been recorded and we will be feeding these concerns into discussions and negotiations with the ECB over the coming months.
“There are a lot of questions which remain unanswered and this is becoming a concern to the membership. Along with Non-Executive Chairman Matthew Wheeler, I will be heavily involved in making sure these concerns are eased as we aim to secure the future of professional cricketers in England and Wales.”
The Hundred league signals a change in direction by the ECB to reach a new audience following the hosting of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales. The 15 regular over league with see franchises be created in the cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Nottingham, Leeds and Southampton.