Amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the United Kingdom (UK), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were forced to delay their entire 2020 international home and domestic season. Their home season this year was originally intended to launch the much-anticipated 100-ball tournament The Hundred. However, The Hundred has been pushed back to next year by ECB due to the extended outbreak of the contagious disease.
With the postponement of The Hundred, the ECB cancelled contracts of all players who were due to participate in the inaugural edition. Cricketers like Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc were among 10 Australian players who were scheduled to represent their respective sides in the tournament. Steve Smith, who was signed up by Welsh Fire for £125,000 (₹1.2 crore), is set to lose the entire amount due to the cancellation of players contracts, making his loss the highest with David Warner having reportedly backed out of the UK tournament.
Apart from Steve Smith, other Australian players who landed lucrative deals in The Hundred were Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner and Mitchell Starc with £125k (₹1.2 crore) each. While the above mentioned players (barring Mitchell Starc) are also signed up for contracts in the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020) season, their fate in the Indian T20 event is also clouded with much uncertainty at the moment. The IPL 2020 was initially intended to commence on March 29. But in wake of the coronavirus and India lockdown situation, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly made it clear that there are no current plans to organise any cricketing activities in the country.
Steve Smith represents Rajasthan Royals in IPL. The right-handed batsman was part of the franchise in 2014, 2015 and also represented them in the previous (IPL 2019) season. During the IPL 2020 trading and transfer window, Rajasthan Royals retained Smith for US$1.6 million (₹12 crore).