Durham ‘100 per cent committed’ to bringing Hundred franchise to north east

By Sports Desk December 18, 2023

Durham chief executive Tim Bostock says the club are “100 per cent committed” to bringing a Hundred team to the north east and would be ready to take part in an expanded tournament as soon as 2025.

Consultations over the future direction of the competition, which has divided opinion since its launch three years ago, are ongoing and a decision on proposals for new, external investment is expected in the coming months.

The likeliest outcome would see the sale of stakes in the eight existing sides and there is also support for expanding the field to 10 teams.

Durham are currently affiliated to the Yorkshire-based Northern Superchargers but, with around 90 miles between Chester-le-Street and Headingley, they are eager to branch out on their own.

Bostock is an unabashed supporter of the tournament and is busily preparing a pitch to join the fray at the earliest opportunity.

“We are 100 per cent committed to bringing a franchise here to the north east,” he told the PA news agency.

“We pitched for it originally and I think we were close. We don’t have a divine right, that would be complacent, but we are very confident we would be able to mobilise very quickly.

“The north of the country cannot be ignored and we have an international ground ready to go; the facilities and infrastructure are in place.

“We’ve got to make the business case, put our best foot forward and make sure the ECB can’t turn us down.

“I don’t think we need to get too hung up on when you move to 10 teams, that could be 2027/28, why not go to nine first? If I go to the ECB in six months’ time and say, ‘we have a very powerful backer, we’re ready to go’ there’s no reason the ECB won’t make us the ninth team.

“People are sports mad in the north east and we sell out every international we get, which is one of things they look at when awarding teams. I have no doubt if we got one as part of any expansion it would be brilliantly supported. We’ve got a following wind behind us, to say the least.”

There are county cricket fans who remain stridently opposed to the entire concept of the Hundred but Bostock insists its commercial potential is unparalleled in the domestic game. The Bridgepoint private equity group offered the ECB a reported £400million for a 75 per cent share of the competition in 2022 and overseas interest would be high if individual teams went on the market.

Bostock believes his region is well placed to cash in and argues that a fresh influx of cash would be a lifeline that would prop up the rest of the national framework.

“There’s probably no bigger strategic decision to be made than this one. You’re not going to please everybody but you’ve got to get it right,” he said.

“This is the silver bullet, game-changer for the game. Despite all the criticism, I’m yet to see another product three years on from start up that is thought to be worth £750m.

“That money will sustain 18 counties, accelerate the growth of the women’s game and support recreational cricket. The economic reality is that without the advent of the Hundred and the huge investment it’s going to bring, it’s unlikely we’d still have 18 counties in five years’ time.

“We need to make sure the Hundred is monetised to become recognised as the second best short-form competition in the world, after the IPL. To do that, you’ve got to pay the money that attracts the best players and for that we need investment.

“As a destination, the north east is well placed. We’ve seen the Saudis have bought Newcastle United just down the road and you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to see they are building a portfolio.

“We are very confident we could attract a lot interest.”

Related items

  • Chris Gayle challenges Usain Bolt to race: “All Usain will be seeing is a lot of dust” Chris Gayle challenges Usain Bolt to race: “All Usain will be seeing is a lot of dust”

    West Indian batting legend Chris Gayle has spoken about the time Jamaican spring king Usain Bolt got his wicket in a friendly game which led the hard-hitting batsman to challenge the sprinter to a race.

    “Till this day, he’s still afraid of me. Doesn’t want to see me on a 100m track,” Gayle tells ICC in a new video released by cricket’s world governing body before breaking into a laugh.

    “Of course, I’m a sprinter. All Usain Bolt will be seeing is a lot of dust and the Universe Boss just going down the stretch,” Gayle added.

    In response, Bolt said “we all know Chris can’t run. We have seen him. We know Chris doesn’t do quick singles or anything. We’re not worried about Chris.”

    Responding to this, Gayle said, “that’s a big lie. I run a lot of ones, twos, threes, you name it… sometimes even fours. So, Bolt, get your running spikes ready. And if you want to bring any other athlete along, you know, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, anybody. Somebody gonna come fourth. And it’s not me!”

    Talking about Bolt taking his wicket, Gayle said that the incident had happened at a charity match where Bolt had bowled a “damn good bouncer” at him, following which he told himself to not hold back at the “fun game.”

    “After the bouncer I said to myself, it’s a fun game. What am I doing? So, I start smashing him. Hit him for one or two sixes and probably for a few fours. Then, eventually, I get an inside edge onto the stumps,” said Gayle.

     Gayle and Bolt are both ambassadors for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA from June 1-29.

  • DJ Bravo reiterates call for love, togetherness in T&T; to host peace walk on May 18 DJ Bravo reiterates call for love, togetherness in T&T; to host peace walk on May 18

    Former West Indies cricket captain Dwayne Bravo is again hoping to use his status and influence to shape a safer Trinidad and Tobago, as he is set to host a peace walk to raise awareness about crime in the twin island republic.

    The event, Unity Walk 2024 – A Mother’s Cry, is scheduled to start at Memorial Park in Port of Spain, on May 18, at 10:00 am.

    “Come out and let’s re-inject love, peace, unity and togetherness in our beautiful twin island,” Bravo said in a short video.

    “Don’t miss out, get your crew, come out in your numbers. Walk for unity, walk for peace,” he added.

    The walk is being held to raise awareness of domestic violence, drug abuse, gang warfare and murder.

    This is another attempt by Bravo to not only encourage the youth of Trinidad and Tobago, in particular, to follow their dreams, but more importantly, to stay away from a life of crime.

    Last year, Bravo, known for his electrifying all-round performances for West Indies and in franchise cricket, took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the crime situation.

    "To the youths out there, please find your passion and follow your dreams! Drugs and guns (are) not the way forward,” he said then.

    The two-time T20 World Cup winner made the plea under an excerpt of his song "Sad Place".

    While the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) reported a five percent decrease in homicides — 577 in 2023 as compared to 605 in 2022 — citizens remain concerned about a high level of violent crime in and around the city centre of Port of Spain.

  • IPL: Capitals sneak past Titans after Pant heroics in free-scoring clash IPL: Capitals sneak past Titans after Pant heroics in free-scoring clash

    Rishabh Pant stole the show with an unbeaten 88 as Delhi Capitals leapfrogged Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League table with Wednesday's nervous four-run victory.

    Delhi looked in some trouble after Sandeep Warrier dismissed openers Prithvi Shaw for 11 and Jake Fraser-McGurk on 23 but Pant blitzed a remarkable 43-ball knock that contained eight maximums to help the Capitals to 224-4.

    That onslaught from the India wicketkeeper came after Axar Patel – promoted up the order to number three – blasted 66 off 43 balls, though Wriddhiman Saha (39) and Sai Sudharsan (69) led the Gujarat fightback.

    David Miller's quickfire 55 offered further hope yet impact player Rasikh Salam's 3-44 stunted that response.

    With the Titans needing 19 from the final over, Mukesh Kumar (1-41) held on in a showdown with Rashid Khan (21 not out) to edge the Capitals over the finish line.

    Data Debrief: Sharma sets unwanted IPL record

    Though much of the credit went to Pant for his late-innings destruction, questions may be asked of Mohit Sharma, whose 0-73 from four overs marked the most expensive figures for a bowler in IPL history.

    Mohit cannot shoulder too much blame, though, as this entertaining IPL clash saw only two bowlers concede less than eight runs an over – Warrier's 3-15 in the first innings before Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Saha and Rahul Tewatia (4) in his 2-29 Delhi spell.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.