The Spin | The Hundred sees ECB double down on ludicrous marketing-drivel

The ECB has been burrowing itself into a Hundred-shaped hole, and instead of seeking a way out it ordered up a digger

Since it was first announced, back in the heady, innocent days when it lacked a name and the England and Wales Cricket Board was assumed to be gestating nothing more revolutionary than a new Twenty20 competition, the thing we now refer to as The Hundred has been hounded by sceptics.

One criticism in particular has recurred intriguingly. Back in April 2018 an unnamed county representative at the meeting where the ECB’s plans were first announced described it to the Evening Standard as being “like something out of W1A”. This March a county executive told the Independent, on the subject of ongoing discussions about team names: “Honestly, it’s like something out of W1A at times.” In April a county executive told the Sunday Times that at one meeting, “I thought I’d walked onto the set of W1A”. This all suggests two things: that a single county executive with a particular fondness for excruciating BBC comedies has repeatedly said similar things to different journalists under the cover of anonymity; and that, whether the quotes come from one individual or several, the process of creating the competition has at times been painfully cringeworthy, marked in particular – as was the TV series – by the adoption of befuddling marketspeak.

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