The Professional Cricketers Association has called for a review of the Men’s Hundred draft system after receiving reports of player discontent over perceived local bias in squad selection.
The union warned in 2019 that unless recruiting for the new tournament was completely independent, players could begin seeking county contracts with host clubs in hopes of increasing their chances of reaching a deal at the Hundred. The long-term fear is that this will create a two-tier career system with eight “super counties.”
This principle was rejected and, although eight foreign head coaches were subsequently hired, there have been complaints from players that host counties possibly influenced the selection in the Hundred draft, which took place in late 2019, prior to a new wording this year, while some non-host counties, which are supposedly still tied to the franchises, stayed on the sidelines.
Certainly in the Hundred’s first season there are three men’s teams with a strong slant toward their corresponding host counties in their 15-man squads: Northern Superchargers, who play at Headingley, have seven Yorkshire cricketers; Oval Invincibles presents six from Surrey; and Trent Rockets have five from Nottinghamshire.
Daryl Mitchell, the PCA’s director of cricket operations, told The Guardian: “There are about 96 male players involved in the tournament and 350 who are not, so there will always be conversations about the selection and those who will feel aggrieved.
“But what the players were originally sold to was an independent general manager or roster manager for each Hundred team, which we fully supported, just because of a little pressure from the counties to keep it more internal.
“Even with eight head coaches overseas, there could be a lack of knowledge of the county game among some, which could lead to them relying on the host venues or the cricket directors of those clubs to help them with the players. .
“Some county cricket directors are involved in the original televised draft [in 2019] It didn’t look very good either, not that he questioned the integrity of those individuals. But a lot of that has to do with perception. That has been sent to the ECB and it has been agreed that there should be a review of how it works after the first season. “
The issue is one of those recently discussed during the first meeting of the new PCA Advocacy Group. This 12-person panel, chaired by Mitchell and with England captains Eoin Morgan and Heather Knight, will meet twice a year with the intention of becoming a leading voice for players in the English game.
In addition to recruiting into the Hundreds, the panel has called for stricter regulation of protective gear amid debate over the short ball shape in cricket. He also wants a review of current salary deductions for non-centrally hired county cricketers securing deals to play in the Indian Premier League.
The panel also discussed the initial issues faced by the 41 newly hired national cricketers, including issues related to access to training facilities and pay structures.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism