Eoin Morgan on why cricket needs The Hundred in order to grow
Does cricket need a fourth format?
Last Sunday's thrilling end to the ODI World Cup final has triggered a spike in interest in cricket. Of course it has. How could anyone not be utterly engrossed by what many are calling the greatest game of cricket of all time. The first ever 50-over match to go to a 'super over' with the score tied at 241 runs each ended with England winning their first ever World Cup. This sudden surge interest begs the question: is there still a need for The Hundred?
The ECB's latest initiative in a bid to promote the game has come under a lot of scrutiny since its announcement. Is there really a need for a fourth format, just 20 balls shorter than a T20 match? England captain Eoin Morgan believes so, as he explained at the Euro T20 Draft on Friday afternoon.
"I think over the next few years, one of the formats will miss out," he concedes. "We can't play with four formats."
"The Hundred? Yes I do think we need it. I think whether it's The Hundred, 10 overs, 20 overs, I think one franchise tournament with fewer teams, in order to consistently sell the game to the country, I think we need it.
"I think anybody I speak to who loves sport, but doesn't necessarily love cricket, is crying out for a tournament that he or she understands, because 18 teams going on for a long amount of time does not make sense to them," he adds, suggesting that the T20 Blast may suffer as a knock-on effect of The Hundred's introduction.
For those who may not be familiar with The Hundred's format, it is essentially T20 but only 100 balls. That means that each team will ball one over comprising 10 balls as opposed to the customary six.
Will this make it easier for the next generation to understand? Only time will tell.