In a surprising turn of events, Surrey chairman Oli Slipper has expressed his newfound support for The Hundred, emphasizing its revenue-generating capabilities and proposing to bring the Oval Invincibles under the club’s banner. This marks a significant departure from Surrey’s reservations when the tournament was conceived in 2018.

Slipper highlighted the success of The Hundred, both in terms of ticket sales and TV viewership, acknowledging its substantial contribution, approximately 25%, to the England Cricket Board’s (ECB) revenue. Despite concerns among long-standing club members about the impact on traditional red-ball cricket, Slipper assured that he would safeguard the future of Surrey County Cricket Club.

The ECB is currently exploring ways to enhance The Hundred’s popularity, with discussions including the possibility of expanding the league to ten teams and implementing an “open pyramid” format involving all 18 counties. Slipper stressed that, with a broadcast deal secured until 2028, discontinuing the league is not an option. Instead, he suggested an evolution of the league to better align with the interests and history of individual counties.

In a bold statement, Slipper outlined Surrey’s intention to own and operate their team within The Hundred, emphasizing a long-term view over selling equity. He articulated the club’s ambition to represent its rich history during the English summer and asserted that any team playing at The Kia Oval should bear the emblem of Surrey.

Theis also highlights Surrey’s recent success in claiming their 22nd County Championship and Slipper’s commitment to using the club’s growing influence to protect red-ball cricket, which he deemed as the pinnacle of the game. Slipper concluded by positioning Surrey as a leading voice within the ECB, advocating for the interests of county cricket in the evolving landscape of English cricket.

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By David

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