Issues over The Hundred may cause some counties to break away from ECB, warns Andy Nash

By Adam Ellis

Former ECB board member Andy Nash has suggested it would not be beyond the realms of possibility for counties to splinter off and form a new rival body.

Like the Premier League in football and Premiership Rugby in rugby union, the ex-chairman of Somerset has warned The Hundred league the ECB is set to implement into the domestic calendar in 2020 risks backlash.

“The game is at a crossroads,” Nash told the BBC. “In India and Australia the clubs have seen primacy in the game, and it is now of more value to them than the international format. In England and Wales that hasn’t yet happened but I think that’s the direction of travel.

“Unless trust is re-established in the national governing body by its principal 19 members, then it’s possible that the clubs may look at what has happened in football and rugby where they decide to form their own body within the auspices of the national governing body to represent their interests in a different way.

“That has to be a potential outcome unless ECB are able to get a grip, establish trust and reunify the game around the longer terms aims and objectives.”

Nash resigned from the ECB board in March after 14 years by citing concerns over the governing body’s “standards of corporate governance that are falling well short of what’s acceptable”.

Comments which were made in relation to proposed compensation packages, some worth £500,000, paid to Test venues during summers in which they do not host a Test match – something Nash labelled as ‘playing favourites’.

The PCA have also been active in urging caution over the concept of The Hundred following feedback from players’ representatives, who have aired their concerns about the competition set to run parallel to the Vitality Blast.

The chairman for the players’ union, Daryl Mitchell said earlier this month: “Judging by the information about other stakeholders, probably the players saying they don’t want it. We have the power to do that but whether it does happen or not, I’m not sure.

“There is no competition without any players, is there? As a union, we would have to feel very strongly to go completely against it.”

With the ECB making plans to enhance the scope of next year’s World Cup in England and Wales through the game’s shorter formats, The Hundred is a concept which has been designed to attract a younger and new audience pinpointed to metropolitan areas through the eight-team competition.

Surrey offered to run a Test event using the Hundred format at The Oval in November, but were turned down by the ECB.

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