ECB chair Richard Thompson says the Hundred is locked into the schedule until 2028

ECB chair Richard Thompson says the Hundred is locked into the schedule until 2028

The Hundred is going nowhere before the end of 2028 and has “a long and successful future well beyond that”, according to the ECB’s chair.

Several outlets reported last month that Richard Gould and Richard Thompson – the ECB’s chief executive and chair respectively, who previously held the same roles at Surrey – were discussing options to adjust the format of the eight-team, 100-ball competition, or even to scrap it altogether.

But, in an interview in the June edition of the Cricketer magazine, Thompson said that there had been “an awful lot of misreporting” on the tournament’s future, emphasising that it is part of the ECB’s lucrative broadcast deal with Sky Sports which runs until the end of 2028.

“We’re signed up with the Hundred until 2028 and there’s been an awful lot of misreporting around that,” Thompson said. “The reality is that the Hundred exists with Sky until 2028 and I’m sure it has a long and successful future well beyond that.”

A report by Fanos Hira, the Worcestershire chair, earlier this year suggested that the Hundred had made a £9 million loss to date, figures which the ECB disputes. Thompson said: “It’s a historical report looking at the income and cost base of the ECB. And it [the Hundred] will help us across the game.

“It depends how you attribute those costs,” he added. “Especially the £1.3m that each county receives a year [which is directly linked to the Hundred]. The game has invested a significant amount of money into the Hundred to ensure that it finds a new audience, which it has done. But the reality is it’s an investment in the future.”

The prospect of private investment in the Hundred has also been regularly mooted over the last two years. “We’re only in year three of a very new tournament,” Thompson said on the subject. “And the game has got to make that decision. That’s not an ECB decision.”

The Hundred takes place in a standalone window from August 1-27 in 2023, the first time that it has not clashed with any England men’s or women’s international cricket. As a result, the final Test of the English summer is due to finish on July 31 – a situation that Thompson said “absolutely will not” happen again.

“It doesn’t feel right, does it? Finishing the Test season in July means the whole season feels truncated,” he said. “My understanding of the decision was they felt there are a significant amount of white-ball internationals playing through September.

“And the idea behind that was to give us the best possible chance of defending the 50-over World Cup which starts in October. But certainly, you don’t want a situation where you’re playing just one format or one tournament in the way we are at the moment… the Test summer absolutely will not be squeezed like this in future.”

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