Eoin Morgan has shown his support for the ECB’s controversial new 100-ball competition, hinting that it should replace the T20 Blast.
The Hundred will make its debut next summer and will feature eight city-based franchises in a league system, which will then be followed by a knockout stage and a final.
Morgan – who captained England to their first ever World Cup success last Sunday – believes adding a fourth format could be too much, but doesn’t believe The Hundred is the problem.
Speaking to PA at the draft of the inaugural Euro T20 Slam, the 32-year-old said: “I think over the next few years, one of the formats will miss out – we can’t play with four formats.
“The Hundred, yes, I do think we need it. Whether it’s The Hundred, 10 overs or 20 overs, we need one franchise-based tournament, with fewer teams, in order to consistently sell the game to the country.
“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 for a long period of time just doesn’t make sense to anybody.”
Asked if he believes that should mean the T20 Blast being the one that is cut, Morgan was implicit in his response: “I’m not making the decisions but…
“This is new ground for all us – we’ve never won a Cricket World Cup,” he continued.
“I think we can plan ahead from here. What would really make the last four years of hard work worth it would be if we went into the next World Cup, and the following one, as genuine contenders.
“We don’t have to be hot favourites but to consistently raise the belief within the country – that ambition would drag everyone along. And with the group of guys we have at the moment – the age they are and the talent they possess – there’s no reason why we can’t do it.”
Smith underwent a “precautionary scan” of his neck that thankfully had not revealed any structural damage.
“I think it was important that we bounced back strongly after Edgbaston and I think we’ve certainly done that.”
Jofra Archer has changed the mood if not the scoreline.
Steve Smith out, Marnus Labuschagne in.
Woakes enjoyed Archer v Smith just as much as the rest of us.
The marquee might read England v Australia, but we all know it’s Steve Smith v Jofra Archer
Thankfully, Smith appears to have suffered no lasting damage.
Olly Stone has been ruled out of the rest of the season with a partial lower back stress fracture.
It’ll take a superb spell of bowling or a shambolic batting collapse for either side to win from here.
Click to see Steve Smith’s ‘cat on a hot tin roof’ impression.