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‘The purists will just have to suck it up’ – Nasser Hussain says white-ball cricket must take precedence this summer

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Nasser Hussain, the former England captain, has asked County Championship purists to be ready to “suck it up” given the very likely scenario of the white-ball game being prioritised once the Covid-19 lockdown eases, and domestic cricket can start.

The ECB on Friday stated that professional cricket in the country was put on hold at least till May 28, due to the outbreak of the global pandemic Covid-19. That meant the first seven rounds of the County Championship season have been deferred, and given the financial implications of the delay, the possibility that the first-class season might not happen at all is very realistic.

“One thing the ECB will have to do is prioritise the financial decisions in all this – Test match cricket, white-ball cricket,” Hussain was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “Maybe the purist will just have to suck it up this summer with the County Championship. These are the decisions the ECB will have to make with their stakeholders and their partners.”

Hussain added that the need to delay the season was a necessity, and said the ECB had done well to clarify that as early as they had done. “Cricketers, groundsmen, clubs, umpires – anyone involved in the professional game – would have just wanted some kind of clarity and date to work to.

“I don’t think the ECB had any choice [but to delay the season] but it was good there was a bit of clarity, even though the date is probably going to be arbitrary and probably going to be moved.”

Hussain’s suggestion that the purists will have to take the disappointments this season on their chin was supported by former England batsman Jonathan Trott, who said this year would be about “[making] do with what you get”.

Nasser Hussain county

Jonathan Trott and Nasser Hussain believe county fans will have to be accepting of things this season 

One thing seems certain, though. The Hundred will be prioritised by the ECB once the season can resume, given the investment and hype that has gone into the new format and tournament.

“The Hundred is a huge thing for the ECB and international cricket is going to have to be prioritised,” said Trott. “You are going to see fixtures juggled all over the place to get as much cricket in as possible.

“You are maybe going to go as late as October if you can domestically. The county grounds have floodlights so maybe we can use those and extend the season as long as possible.”

Have Your Say

Comment (1)

  1. Rossmiller 2 months ago (Edit)

    Whilst I understand the view that Hussain and others offer;namely follow the money, I think that the likelihood is that the 100 will lose lots of whatever appeal it may have because the overseas stars will either withdraw or be banned from participating by their home authorities e.g Australia having a home series, and thus it will become a damp squib. Surely far better for the ECB to postpone it till 2021 like Euro 2020 has been and dedicate the time to playing the CC, T20 and possibly the T50. This would do far more service to cricket in this country and would demonstrate that the ECB actually cares about the game by showing the game at its best and in competitions that people actually understand rather than blindly forcing them to watch (or not) a money led competition that is not cricket . As for Hussain et al they mostly don't bother with the CC and are wary of standing up against the ECB and the broadcasters who pay them. In short what we need is a real statesperson to lead cricket through this.

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