When the England Cricket Board (ECB) finally begin their highly contentious, city-based T20 tournament in 2020 they will be rendering over half of the country’s professional players unemployed for more than six weeks of prime-time summer. Or would have been, until it was pointed out that there were labour law issues in doing so. The ECB’s hierarchy — and their marketing people — decided eight teams was optimum and the tournament would be contested over 100 balls per innings, not 20 overs. The 40 fewer deliveries meant it could be packed into three hours and be more appealing for free-to-air broadcasters. For the first two or three months after news of “The Hundred” broke, the disdain and ridicule was relentless. It was a gimmick too far. A well intentioned but prostituted sellout to the demands of television. In the past two months the ECB has stopped referring to “The Hundred” and has reverted to “the new T20 tournament”. One aspect that will not change is their commitment to havin...

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