Expecting the English internationals to be involved during opening stages of The Hundred, admits Tom Harrison

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)’s chief executive Tom Harrison has admitted that he is expecting the English internationals to be part of the start of The Hundred. While stating that, he reckoned that the ECB are working to ensure that all the tournaments are going ahead as expected.

While ECB were the first to bring back cricket on board, after the COVID-19 pandemic, the ever-growing virus and the number of variants that it has brought out to the table, has put the board under immense pressure. A week ago, the board were forced to swap their entire squad for a new squad for the ODI series against Pakistan, due to the virus affecting the camp.

With The Hundred just days away from start, the ECB are forced into a ruckus of things, starting from the competition, to the Royal London Cup and England’s most-awaited five-match Test series against India later at home. ECB’s chief executive Tom Harrison has made it clear that he is expecting the English internationals to be part of the competition during its earlier stage.

“We want people feeling good about going out and playing in whatever tournament they’re playing in, whether that’s the Hundred, whether that’s a Test series against India, whether that is county cricket and the RL50,” Harrison said, reported ESPNCricinfo.

“We are working through that at the moment. Clearly we’ve got to make sure that we protect the India series but also it’s important they take part in the Hundred,” he added.

Harrison so insisted that the final details about the English players availability for the start of the much-awaited 100-ball competition would be done this week.

“The thinking is around their travel, their accommodation, how do we make sure they’re not in close contact with anyone outside of the environment, do we need to put additional protocols around them? I’m expecting them to play at the start of the Hundred, so once we finalise that this week, we’ll know exactly how many games they will be available for.”

However, at the same time, he also admitted that the players would have to go through a lot in the coming days, with a tour against Bangladesh and Pakistan, closely followed by the World T20 and the Ashes.

“You want players turning up in these ‘most important series’ feeling fantastic about the opportunity of playing for their country. They are not going to be able to achieve that if they have forgotten the reasons why they play,” he added.

“You’ve got to listen to what they’ve been telling us, and it’s been very clear to most boards around the world that we need to listen more to the voice of the players. Because they’ve got lives too and in some cases very young families, who they’ve been pulled apart from for very long periods of time.”

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