World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan has encouraged the English and Cricket Board to tear up the current domestic and international schedules – and play England’s men’s and women’s double headers at iconic venues like Wembley or the Park Olympic.
Morgan watched with envy as the Rugby Football Union successfully trial similar approaches and lamented the inflexible schedule currently in place in the UK.
The 35-year-old skipper of London Spirit was speaking ahead of The Hundred’s return, having witnessed the competition’s double-headers succeed last season, with attendance records for women’s matches consistently broken at Lord’s.
The idea of a 12-month franchise schedule is in talks, which would challenge international cricket for its biggest names.
As multi-format player Jonny Bairstow yesterday became the latest star to retire from The Hundred to rest ahead of England’s next Test round against South Africa.
“There’s absolutely no way it will work in the current schedule,” said Morgan, who was speaking at the launch of KP Snacks’ summer cricket tour at the Black Prince Trust at Oval. KP Snacks is the Official Team Partner of The Hundred and is on a mission to inspire more families to get active through cricket by providing a contextual experience on a national tour across the country.
“Is it really doable? I would say “no”. Do I want this to happen? That would be great.
“Just even the unity through the game, the Hundred continues and it’s amazing, you know how it works.
“And it’s great to sit down and be able to say it’s a great role model, let’s use it.
“But there is too much going on to do that realistically. So yes, I would love it and want it to work, but it’s not currently happening.
“I think somewhere like Wembley, why not? Even if you go to the Olympic stadium, they can move on the field so you can legitimize that.
“It doesn’t have to specifically target cricket fans, it’s a sporting event.
“At the end of the day, if we aim to do this as a single game, rugby does it domestically and internationally. There’s no reason why cricket can’t do it internationally.
Since Morgan’s retirement from international cricket, England have struggled for clean ball form under new skipper Jos Buttler, falling to a lackluster defeat in their decisive T20 series tie against South Africa on Sunday.
And Morgan believes the Hundred presents the perfect opportunity for players to force themselves into selection discussions like Liam Livingstone did last year when he topped the men’s rankings.
He added, “There is an opportunity for people to impress certain positions. Liam (Livingstone) was amazing last year; it was great to see him find the level of consistency that he brought to his whole game.
“We’ve known how talented he is for several years now, but he’s grown under that pressure and he could be a mainstay in this World Cup squad later this year.
“I think the areas that England can always look at, it goes back as long as white-ball cricket started, it’s the bowling of death – it’s the hardest work in the game.
“In form now in terms of death bowlers, we have Chris Jordan who is amazing and that’s about it. It’s your banker for a death pitcher, so it’s definitely an area where people can target an avenue.
“And then the other is Adil Rashid’s replacement, a mystery spinner or some type of spinner, which you can pack together.
“Someone who is as good a combination as Livingstone or Ali, and you have a chance of winning the World Cup.”
KP Snacks, official team partner of The Hundred, is traveling the country this summer to provide more opportunities for people to play cricket as part of their ‘Everyone In’ campaign. Visit everyone.co.uk/about