Legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar gave his verdict on the first week of The Hundred and claimed that he was not impressed by the experimental tournament, terming it ‘ordinary’ and ‘insipid’. Gavaskar also noted that The Hundred has lacked a McCullum-esque knock to set off the tournament.
ECB’s experimental 100-ball competition, The Hundred, kicked off last week and as expected, it has divided opinions. However, in general, people have tended to sway towards the positives. Though there has existed visible confusion over the rules and nuances, many have endorsed the competition due to it serving as a boon for Women’s cricket. The format in itself is funky, but the competition has received plaudits for connecting with family audiences, bringing in a new set of fans to the sport, something the organizers have claimed is their primary goal.
One person not too impressed with the competition, however, is Sunil Gavaskar. Writing about his first impressions of The Hundred in the daily ‘Mid-day’, Gavaskar termed it insipid and ordinary, and said that the competition and its graphics would have been mocked by the English Press had it originated in the sub-continent.
"Having seen it on TV, the only word that comes to mind is insipid. The cricket is ordinary and the coverage average with basic mistakes in player information which, if made in the sub-continent, would have been mocked at especially by the former England players, not to speak of the headlines that the tabloids would have generated,” Gavaskar wrote.
The legendary Indian batsman further claimed that the tournament, via TV, did not leave a great first impression on him.
"The former players are raving about the crowds but here too as yet the fierce loyalty of the franchise fans is not seen. Maybe, the experience at the ground is different but as far as first impressions go, it's not been a great one,” Gavaskar added.
The Indian Premier League, when it kicked off in 2008, was also an ambitious attempt at organizing a global cricketing extravaganza, but it got off to a perfect start with New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum posting the then highest score in T20 history. Though the tournament has had great individual performances, it has thus far not seen ‘that’ knock that sends the internet into meltdown, and Gavaskar reckoned that owing to the same reason, the competition might take time to get to the hearts of the spectators.
"Unlike the IPL, which was given a vertical take-off by Brendon McCullum’s incredible innings in the very first match, The Hundred hadn't quite got that and so may take a little more time to get the hearts of the spectators,” he wrote.