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'Sword of Damocles': Wisden lambastes The Hundred
The Hundred

'Sword of Damocles': Wisden lambastes The Hundred

The latest edition of Wisden has compared English cricket's new 100-ball competition unfavourably with Brexit, saying the innovation has "hung over the game like the Sword of Damocles".

The 156th edition of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack offers a highly sceptical take on The Hundred, which is slated to debut in 2020.

Editor Lawrence Booth addresses the advocates of the new format at the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in harsh words.

"All the while The Hundred hung over the English game like the Sword of Damocles, suspended only by the conviction of a suited few.

"Some preferred a modern analogy: this was cricket's Brexit, an unnecessary gamble that had overshadowed all else, gone over budget and would end in tears.

"But the analogy was imperfect: where Brexit had plenty of advocates, it was difficult to find anyone beyond a small group within the ECB's offices who believed that cricket, its fixture list already unfathomable, needed a fourth format."

Booth argues that early soundbites made the sport's existing fanbase "feel like outcasts" while attempting to attract a new core.

There are also concerns over the potential impact of the new city-based competition on England's existing domestic cricket structure, which is built upon 18 first-class counties.