London: England Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman Colin Graves feels young people “are just not attracted to cricket” and that is the reason the board’s new 100-ball-a side tournament has been conceptualised.
“The younger generation, whether you like it or not, are just not attracted to cricket. In all the work, surveys and research we have done, the younger generation want something different,” Graves told BBC Sport.
“They want more excitement, they want it shorter and simpler to understand. Those are the things we have learnt for this new competition and that is what we have to make it,” he added.
The proposed tournament, which has got mixed reactions so far, could feature innings of 15 traditional six-ball overs and a final 10-ball over.
“We’ll build it and we’ll work with the players because we want them to be involved. From the players’ point of view, this is bringing in an extra 8m worth of salaries into county cricketers. That’s what the tournament will generate for them,” opined Graves.
Meanwhile, in a separate interview with The Telegraph, Graves pulled up Surrey by saying that “they have to be 100 per cent committed” if they are to host games in the new competition.
“If anyone thinks that it is a laughing stock then I totally disagree,” the ECB Chairman said.
“We chose eight venues that we thought were right for the new competition. We offered them (Surrey) the opportunity to be one of those venues. If they don’t want to be that venue then all they have to do is tell us. I have got three venues who are desperate to have it,” he added.
“We are not forcing anybody to have it. If they don’t want it, fine. But if they do want it, they have to be 100 per cent committed. People who make those sort of comments need to make sure they are totally on board. If they are not on board then fine we will go somewhere else,” he expressed.
“If the venue is not behind the competition it is going to be difficult to get it off the ground. If they are behind it we stand a great chance of making it a big success. The other venues are totally behind it, and I mean totally behind it. They have not questioned anything,” Graves concluded.