Alec Stewart: The Hundred & T20 Blast may be only domestic cricket

Alec Stewart
Alec Stewart played 133 Tests and 170 one-day internationals during his playing career

The Hundred and the T20 Blast could be the only domestic cricket competitions played this summer, says former England captain Alec Stewart.

On Friday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) delayed the start of the season until at least 28 May because of the coronavirus crisis.

The County Championship was due to begin on 12 April.

Surrey director of cricket Stewart, 56, said he does not expect the season to start for at least three months.

The T20 Blast, the domestic 20-over competition which is the most lucrative for counties, is set to start on 28 May.

The Hundred, the ECB's new 100-ball tournament featuring eight city-based franchises, is scheduled to run in July and August, while the 50-over One-day Cup is due to begin in July.

Speaking before the ECB announcement on Friday, Stewart told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am expecting a season to potentially start in July, but it’s only potentially as we don’t know where this pandemic is going to go."

Eight Surrey players are in self-isolation after showing symptoms of Covid-19 and the rest of the squad stopped training on Tuesday in line with government guidelines.

All 18 first-class counties could face an uncertain future with the loss of matchday and competition revenues with a shortened season.

The counties have been in discussions with the ECB finance team over how they can be supported.

At the ECB's request, the clubs have also been working on a range of projections that would reflect the impact of various scenarios.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said on Tuesday that one of those contingencies could be “no cricket at all this season”.

Stewart said: “I think they’ll look at getting The Hundred on and the T20 Blast. They’ll be the two priorities because of the financial implications to the game.”

“The ECB are doing a relentless job behind the scenes to try and make sure they make good, educated decisions.

“I don’t think anything’s going to be taken off the table. Surrey are one of the better-off counties financially, but at the same time their overheads are greater.

“We’re being told they can manage at the moment, but the longer it goes on, then drastic measures may have to take place.”

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