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The Hundred postponed until 2021 - Cricket competition was set to debut this year

ECB decides it was not conceivable to stage The Hundred in 2020
The Hundred cricket
The Hundred has been postponed until 2021 (Getty Images)

The Hundred has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The competition was scheduled to begin on 17 July and end on 15 August.

The Hundred was the England and Wales Cricket Board's new city-based tournament. The new format features a 100-ball competition involving eight teams in separate men's and women's tournaments. 

An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) meeting on Wednesday decided it was not conceivable for The Hundred to be staged in 2020.

The decision has been praised by current England internationals Joe Root and Moeen Ali who both said that postponing this year's competition would be the correct course of action.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison told BBC Sport: "Of course today's decision is tinged with disappointment but we do recognise the country is going through something unprecedented.

"All sectors of society are redeploying their thinking to how we help the country get out of this, rather than fulfilling the ambitions we might have for our certain sports.

"In our case, the sacrifices we are making at the moment seem very small in comparison to what is happening in the big picture."

The ECB had previously prolonged the stoppage on cricket in England and Wales until at least 1 July. When cricket resumes it will likely be played behind closed doors.

That move appears to contradict the stated aim of The Hundred in attracting a new audience to cricket. There are also complications with overseas players who were available this year but not in 2021.

The ECB is working with the Professional Cricketers' Association and other key stakeholders with player selection and retention for 2021.

Players involved in the Hundred were set to earn up to £125,000 with equal prize money for men and women.

Harrison added "We have got a big exercise across this whole summer about how we deal with the situation in cricket. It is not limited to The Hundred.

"We are doing everything we can to keep the lights on in counties, who in a lot of examples are under pressure anyway."

More than 180,000 tickets were sold for The Hundred matches scheduled in 2020, all of which will be refunded. 

It will now be launched in 2021, in the same summer as a high-profile Test series between England and India. There is also a T20 World Cup in India in the autumn followed by an Ashes series in Australia.

England could also be involved in the World Test Championship final which is scheduled to held at Lord's in June 2021.
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