As the threat of coronavirus continues to loom over the United Kingdom (UK), the much-awaited 100-ball tournament ‘The Hundred’ is likely to face postponement by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The 18 English Counties were promised by the ECB to be paid an annual sum of £1.3 million (US$1.6 million) each by the commencement of The Hundred. However, they have been paid only half of that so far, i.e. £650,000 (US$840,000).
As per Sportsmail, an ECB official said that 70 percent of the counties were warned that they could possibly sink if the remaining payment is not made by the board. The official also said that they had earlier assumed a full payment will be made to the counties but the situation is now different amid the coronavirus crisis and UK lockdown. The official further stated that around 17 out of the total 18 counties would probably have a “negative cash flow” if the remaining £650,000 (US$840,000) fails to land. The official added that while the 18 counties remain to be paid a collective sum of £12 million (US$15 million), the ECB are not going to let “50, 60 or 70 percent” of counties to sink for that amount.
The ongoing worldwide coronavirus pandemic forced the International Cricket Council (ICC) to put all immediate proposed tours on hold. The T20 World Cup, scheduled to be played between October and November this year, is also clouded with much uncertainty at the moment. Meanwhile, amid the coronavirus crisis and UK lockdown, the ECB also recently delayed the launch of its entire home international and domestic season. Apart from the highly-anticipated The Hundred, ECB’s home season also includes the annual English County Championship.