Ticket sales for the inaugural season of English cricket’s Hundred competition have been postponed due to Covid-19.
The second priority ticket window and general sale for the England & Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) new franchise-based competition will not go ahead as planned in early April.
The first priority window for the Hundred “surpassed expectations” in February, with the ECB reporting an initial allocation for the men’s Finals Day tickets sold out within 24 hours.
Several counties have already taken their ticketing platforms offline due to the uncertainty surrounding live events amid the Covid-19 crisis.
The move follows last week’s announcement that the ECB agreed that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales until at least May 28, wiping out the first seven rounds of the County Championship and bringing the status of this year’s 50-over Royal London Cup into question.
The ECB is currently modelling a season in June, July or August – with an immediate focus on options for cricket in June, including England’s three-Test series against West Indies, and the domestic T20 Blast tournament.
Sanjay Patel, managing director of The Hundred, said: “In the midst of an epidemic which is affecting the nation in unprecedented ways, it would be wholly inappropriate for us to promote and sell tickets to The Hundred.
“We appreciate this may cause some disappointment to fans that were keen to purchase tickets in the April sales window, accessing early bird prices and securing tickets to the most in-demand games.
“When it is appropriate to go back on sale, we will of course offer the same ticket offers and accessible pricing. Like the rest of the nation, we all hope that it is not far away before cricket returns to our screens, stadiums, parks and clubs.”
The successful launch of the ambitious new competition is crucial for the ECB, leading some to speculate whether a delay to 2021 may be the better option, once the global situation concerning Covid-19 settles down.
Image: Graham Dean