BIG CRICKET SURVEY 2019: 84% oppose The Hundred... but some will still give new competition a go

Of the 2,382 respondents to The Cricketer's poll, 65.8 per cent said they strongly opposed plans for The Hundred, with a further 18.52 per cent saying they tended to oppose the blueprints

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More than 84 per cent of The Cricketer’s readers are opposed to the introduction of The Hundred.

The results of the Big Cricket Survey show that, among existing cricket fans, there is a large majority against the new competition, which will come into existence in 2020.

The eight-team franchise tournament will occupy the middle of the summer months - running from July 17 to August 15 - with some of the best short-form players in the world taking part.

The ECB say the tournament is designed to encourage a new audience - younger and more ethnically diverse - to engage with the sport, with the aim of increasing participation across the country.

Opponents say it could harm the fabric of county cricket.

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Of the 2,382 respondents to The Cricketer’s poll, 65.8 per cent said they strongly opposed plans for The Hundred, with a further 18.52 per cent saying they tended to oppose the blueprints.

Just 6.49 per cent responded in support of the new competition.

In a statement, a governing body spokesperson said: “It is the ECB’s priority to protect and nurture cricket at all levels and the new five-year strategy has a wide-range of initiatives to grow the game in close consult with the counties. 

“The Hundred is one of those strategies with a financially positive business model that helped to swell the value of the new broadcast deal with Sky and the BBC which will be invested into the whole game for the benefit of the game. 

“The tournament will bring cricket back onto free-to-air television and entertain fans new and old with the world’s best men’s and women’s players.”

The Cricketer asked readers about their plans to attend games of The Hundred next season.

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Matches will be played in Test match venues at Lord’s, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Southampton, Old Trafford, Headingley, Cardiff and Edgbaston, with the focus on attracting young families.

Interestingly, despite the fierce opposition among our readers, there does appear to be a section of the cricket-loving public who are willing to give The Hundred a go regardless of their misgivings.

While 84 per cent oppose plans for the new competition, less than 69 per cent have said they will definitely not be attending; 10.13 per cent say they will definitely try out a game.

The Hundred will be shown live on terrestrial television by the BBC as part of the ECB’s new TV rights deal which arrives in 2020.

More than 50 per cent of respondents to the Big Cricket Survey said they would watch more cricket in the event of the sport returning live on free-to-air TV. There were 11 entries which claimed they would watch less.

MORE FROM THE BIG CRICKET SURVEY

Audience demographic breakdown

31% of 25-39-year-olds don't go to any county cricket

Surrey fans happiest with way county is run

Nearly half do not go to international cricket

62% say ECB does not do a good job running the game

Cost of TV subscriptions is too high, say two-thirds of fans

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