• Hundred-ball game ‘ready to launch’

    Colin Graves, chairman of the ECB, says the new 100-ball tournament is ‘ready to launch’ because young people are not attracted to cricket in its present formats.

    The ECB have come up with the concept for their IPL-style competition, which will involve 15 regular overs and a 10-ball over, to inject life into the game.

    ‘Cricket is not attracting the audiences,’ Graves told BBC Sport. ‘If it was, we would not have that issue.

    ‘The younger generation, whether you like it or not, are just not attracted to cricket. The younger generation want something different.

    ‘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.’

    In a wide-ranging interview, Graves also denied that he had warned Surrey, the richest club in the country and the one with the best record of short-format ticket sales, that they would be stripped of their rights to host games in the new tournament if they do not demonstrate their commitment to it.

    Asked whether the hundred tournament was set in stone, Graves replied, ‘Yes. As far as we’re concerned – and the ECB board is concerned – the new competition board is in place to virtually launch this tournament.’

    Reacting to the interview on Twitter, PCA chairman Daryl Mitchell stated that Graves should ‘probably let Tom Harrison [ECB chief executive] know then. That’s not what he told us last week.’

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