There are some interesting times in world cricket. Especially for England. The Hundred and the County Cricket Championship are usually the focus of the excitement at this time. The Ashes, a traditional rivalry between England & Australia, are also gaining in popularity.
County Cricket is the gold standard in cricket. Many generations of cricketers from other countries have also played in different Counties. Indians are included. It is difficult to play cricket in England during the summer. It is often cold and rainy, so players wear sweaters. The ball is moving, which tests the batsman’s (now batter’s) skills.
If you ask an Indian (old-timers) about their experience in the County, they’ll speak highly of it. The British Pound Sterling is not the only way for cricketers to earn money. Cheteshwar Pujara does this at the moment. Ajinkya Rahane has also signed a contract. However, it is not known when he can make it to Leicestershire for both the County Games and the One Day Cup. Rahane has been busy with the IPL, and will also be part of India’s Test team in the ICC Test Championship Final against Australia starting June 7.
In the olden days, Indians who didn’t make it to the international team would play for Minor Counties during the English summer. In the days before IPL, they were paid well. Cheteshwar Pujara had an impeccable County summer
The IPL is reportedly offering lucrative contracts to over a half-dozen English cricketers. It is believed that the Englishmen who are also well-known in the IPL will cease to play for England. They will instead become T20 specialists, just like Chris Gayle. According to reports in England and Australia that are speculative, skimpy and sarcastic, English cricketers will be lured by big money.
The footprint of Indian franchises is growing, especially at a time where they have large stakes in T20 leagues overseas, including South Africa. T20 is growing or exploding. Even countries without a tradition of cricket are now able to participate in the mushrooming leagues. It’s because of this that a country like the United States of America has also slowly become addicted to T20 cricket, and will host the ICC World Cup 2024.
T10 cricket leagues are growing as well, in addition to the T20 cricket explosion. This is a different chapter, but a few more years from now, it will have many more fans.
T20 Cricket League in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia has been in the news a lot lately for reasons related to sports. After the FIFA World Cup, they could create their own football league with CR7 — Cristiano Cristiano Ronaldo. Saudi Arabia is rumored to host T20 cricket. Indian franchises would definitely be interested in participating if that were to happen. India and Saudi Arabia have good business relations, as well as diplomatic relations.
Even sports and tourism are big in the oil-rich desert country. Saudi Arabia could be the next sports destination to host T20 cricket, just as Sharjah, the home of the ODI “masala competitions”, was the first place where ODIs were played with the blessings of wealthy Sheikhs, and Bollywood stars. They are not worried about money. There are many cricketers, including Englishmen, who will make a dash for the country.
These formats, such as County Cricket and The Hundred are losing their appeal.
IPL will be the topic of conversation for purists and old timers who have followed County scores over the years. It is a big deal if the fabric of English Cricket can be torn apart and The Hundred turns into a city franchise league. The Times in London has also reported on the matter. Imagine that cities becoming popular in English cricket would annoy some.The Emirates Cricket Board announced a T20 exclusive league recently.
Cricket is in a tizzy. Accepting all of this in England with its stiff upper lip accent will be difficult. Cricket is controlled primarily by commercials and commerce. Cricketers are actors who go out and perform. The signs are not good if England is experiencing a major change. T20 cricket is the next big thing. You can watch it and then forget about it.
You will see it.
What about The Hundred and County Cricket? We say, “Well done IPL!”