The Hundred is English cricket's least enjoyable competition, fans survey finds

GEORGE DOBELL: The tournament, introduced by the ECB to attract new supporters to the sport, was rated the least popular of all formats of the game by respondents to a Cricket Supporters' Association survey completed 3,704 times


Almost two-thirds of cricket supporters do not enjoy The Hundred, according to the interim results of a survey conducted by the Cricket Supporters' Association.

The tournament, introduced by the ECB to attract new supporters to the sport, was rated the least popular of all formats of the game by respondents to the survey.

Sixty-two per cent of respondents said they found it "not enjoyable", with 11 per cent more saying it was neither enjoyable nor not enjoyable. Only 27 per cent said they found it enjoyable.

By comparison, 98 per cent of respondents said they found Test cricket enjoyable. Only 1 per cent said it was "not enjoyable".

The survey, which was partly funded by the ECB, took around 25 minutes to complete and was done so 3,704 times.

Other results from the survey found that only 10 per cent of respondents said they were satisfied with the current schedule.

But while 60 per cent agreed there was too much cricket in the schedule, 65 per cent felt that any reduction in the number of first-class fixtures would have an impact "on the quality of Test matches in the future".


Level of enjoyment of each format

Sixty-four per cent also disagreed with the theory that playing less often, but on better pitches, with the best teams playing each other more often, would help players make the step up to Test level. Only seven per cent of respondents strongly agreed with the idea.

A seismic 94 per cent of respondents said they found the County Championship enjoyable, with 83 per cent giving the same answer to a question about the T20 Blast.

Of the respondents, 65 per cent said they found the Charlotte Edwards Cup and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy enjoyable.

While the numbers may come as a blow to the ECB, they will have noted the demographic of respondents. Around 90 per cent identified as male and 92 per cent as white. Thirty-four per cent were aged 44 or younger, with 22 per cent aged 65 or over.

With The Hundred developed, in part, to appeal to a different demographic – in particular, more young people and women – the ECB may feel the survey doesn't tell them much about their success in that area.


The proportion of age groups that enjoy each format

The results would suggest, however, that traditional cricket supporters are not, in general, happy with the current direction of the game and feel protective of the future of domestic first-class and Test cricket.

"Thousands of cricket fans have taken to the time to have their say on the future of the game," Becky Fairlie-Clarke, chief executive of the CSA told The Cricketer.

"We've supplied this information to the ECB and will do so to the other stakeholders within the game."

The Cricket Supporters' Association is a free-to-join organisation which seeks to represent the views of supporters to those running the game. One of its aims is to gain a seat, elected by its membership, on the ECB board. It is funded by voluntary donations.

Further results from the survey will be released in due course.

Slides courtesy of the Cricket Supporters' Association

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