The Hundred - Where I stand
There has been hours and hours of debate about The Hundred over the last year or so. Many have said the ECB's new format is tragic, and unnecessary, with little being said of what good the new competition will bring to the counties. In this article I will state my opinion on the ECB's radical new tournament.
The T20 Blast, since its inception in 2003 has not had a reputation for having world beaters of players, with 2 overseas players allowed per side, compared to 4 in the IPL. The Hundred meanwhile has 3 permitted, not a huge increase but a step in the right direction. With more overseas players allowed in each side, the quality will be a huge step up from the Blast. Included in The Hundred are many world class players, Smith, Warner, Starc, Rashid Khan, Russell and Mujeeb Ur Rahman to name but a few. This is probably the main selling point for The Hundred, and in this category it is a huge step up over the blast.
Another great thing about the hundred is the salaries for domestic players. Take the example of Tom Abell. With an average of 29.88 and a strike rate of 142, he is clearly a reasonable domestic player - perhaps nothing more. But remarkably, the Somerset skipper was drafted; by the Manchester Originals (interestingly nowhere near his home side) for a life changing £100,000. There are more players like that too - Phil Salt of Sussex. With a T20 average of 26, but a strike rate of 156, the batsman has aroused much interest from counties, and England too - his £100,000 salary the icing on the cake for him.
The Hundred will also bring in and develop new talent that will be stars of England in a few years time; when young players play with the best in the world, they will obviously improve. England's limited overs sides will be better - there is no doubting that, and it will, like the IPL did make England, or rather keep England one of the best IT20 sides in the world.
The Hundred will also undoubtedly bring in new fans - those people on the edge of liking cricket. A trip to a Hundred match could be tipping point for those people. Aged 14 myself, among the younger people interested in cricket, I'm yet to find anyone massively opposed to the new tournament, it appears that a lot of 'Hundred Haters' are much older, and quite frankly not the target audience to the tournament. The Hundred isn't meant for traditionalists, it a new, bold competition, much like the IPl was, and that tournament is now the most highly paid and one of the most intense leagues in cricket. Many were opposed to the IPL ,when it began in 2008, and now it has given India a springboard for T20 success.