England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has admitted that getting Indian players to feature in the inaugural edition of ‘The Hundred’ is looking unlikely at the moment.
The ECB had devised the latest 100-ball format in a bid to arrest the declining popularity of the sport in England with the tournament set to run concurrently with the domestic 50-over competition.
When announcing the plans for ‘The Hundred’ last year, the ECB had stated that it envisioned top India stars playing in the competition. However, chief executive Tom Harrison has revealed that prospect looks an unlikely one with the BCCI hesitant to release any contracted Indian players for overseas leagues.
“I can’t commit to the involvement of India players. It’s a political conversation as much as anything,” Harrison was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“It’s a difficult conversation. It’s not just the ECB and The Hundred that will be keen to get Indian players involved. Clearly that’s a wider discussion,” he added.
The playing conditions for ‘The Hundred’ were released recently by the ECB and the board remains hopeful of the participation of top players despite the scepticism surrounding the newest format.
“I think players will want to play in The Hundred. We’ll demonstrate an ambition behind this that is very pure and can enhance players’ skills under pressure. Hundred-ball cricket will deliver more of those key moments when players have to deliver under serious pressure. We’ll make it attractive to players to come and play,” Harrison explained.
While India skipper Virat Kohli had questioned the approach of introducing another format, West Indies stalwart Chris Gayle has recently expressed his desire to participate in the competition.
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