A brand launch with a player pick should be a fairly straight forward way to drum up some excitement for a brand new competition, yet as so often seems to happen with The Hundred, it just led to more criticism from the cricketing world.
From the team names to the chosen sponsors, even the kits themselves were all subject to huge amounts of ridicule on Twitter. While it may appear to just be overly critical people picking on tiny points to suit their agenda, it’s a symbol of something much larger. There just isn’t any hunger for this competition.
"The women and kids audience"
And while the ECB may accept this and point towards the fact that the traditional cricket fan isn’t exactly the target audience for this which may be true, I’m not too sure that the tournament has really crossed over to that audience at all yet, it’s hardly the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment.
With a seemingly low level of interest from existing fans and a target audience, it does leave you wondering if there’s any real value in chasing this new idea at all?
After all this competition is being introduced when English cricket is finally getting itself back up to its popularity levels almost nearing the 2005 Ashes series, is it really worth all the risks that the Hundred poses?
Currently, there are concerns from the counties without a franchise that this is going to cause a massive financial disparity between the two sides and could leave the counties without a franchise struggling to attract players or even having to watch them play for someone else instead during the tournament.
And after all with the countries World Cup victory fresh in the minds, degrading the domestic competition that developed those players down to essentially a youth competition seems counterintuitive at best.
Repair don't replace
There’s no doubt that a huge amount of time, effort and money has gone into getting the Hundred off the ground, but you have to wonder whether or not all this time and effort would’ve been better spent building on this existing system.
The T20 Blast has only grown in strength throughout its history. Every year draws bigger crowds and better overseas pros and it’s hard to imagine that the Hundred will be able to create a better event than the much-celebrated Finals Day.
Surely it would have been less work for the ECB to fix the niggles with the Blast and turn that into a top-class domestic T20 competition to rival the likes of the Big Bash rather than create an entirely new format out of thin air.
The Hundred will have a level of success, after all it is new, completely different and will inevitably feature some of the world’s biggest stars but with all the risks involved and the effort it’s taken to get it off the ground it all just seems rather unnecessary.