The Hundred: Glamorgan chief preparing for new tournament decision

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Sport Wales
Hugh Morris
Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris is a former England Test cricketer

Glamorgan chief executive Hugh Morris believes the Welsh county will be able to cope if the Hundred competition is delayed until 2021.

The new 100-ball tournament involves eight franchises, including Welsh Fire, and was due to start in July 2020.

There will be no professional cricket in the UK until at least 28 May because of the coronavirus crisis and the Hundred might now start next year.

"It is up in the air and a fast-moving situation," said Morris.

"When we are able to deliver cricket at Sophia Gardens, whether that be Glamorgan or Welsh Fire, we will be ready.

"We could handle if it (the Hundred) was delayed a year. It would be great to get it up and running this year, but if we had to deliver it from 2021 onwards we are ready.

"It is a competition we want to be seeing full stadiums, with lots of kids and new audiences at venues.

"At the moment that is going to be difficult to achieve, so if we have to wait 12 months we will."

A seasonal restructure could result in no County Championship cricket played for the first time since World War Two.

"That would be strange and disappointing," admitted Morris.

"At the moment the health and safety of our coaches, players, members and everyone associated with Glamorgan is our main priority."

Morris admits he is unsure if and when county cricket will resume this summer.

"We are preparing to host cricket this summer as and when we are able to do so," said Morris.

"We are looking at all sorts of scenarios - whether starting in June, July or August - and life is uncertain.

"We are keen to get up and running but have to do that in the parameters of government guidance to make sure it is in a safe environment.

"It is seeing how things go over the coming weeks and the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) are in regular discussions with the government, who will be making the decision on whether we can play and under what conditions."

The idea of playing behind closed doors has been mooted.

"We are in a strange environment at the moment," admitted Morris.

"Although not ideal, I think cricket behind closed doors could be better than no cricket at all.

"The players and coaches are chomping at the bit after working very hard for six months, while supporters are very keen to see some cricket."

Morris has looked to allay fears over Glamorgan's long-term future because of the pandemic.

"Like many other businesses we have found ourselves in challenging times, with the coronavirus having a significant impact and threatening everything we do," said Morris.

"We run a successful conferencing business with an annual £1.8m turnover but we are not able to hold any of those events and are not playing any cricket, so there is very little income coming in.

"It's an uncertain time for everyone. We have worked hard to restructure our debts over the last few years and we have got ourselves into a manageable situation up until this Covid-19 crisis."

Glamorgan have furloughed their players and coaches until the end of May, while senior staff have taken wage cuts with a skeleton crew running the county.

"The retention scheme is a huge boost to us, as is the money that has been put in by the ECB with £40m into the county game across 18 sides," said Morris.

"I would stress that was money we were expecting and budgeting for over the next five years. But in terms of our short-term cash flow, it is a very welcome intervention."

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