Ripley hoping The Hundred will have a 'positive effect' on English cricket
David Ripley admits he ‘wasn’t rushing’ to back The Hundred when the ECB first announced their intentions to launch a controversial new format back in 2018.
Keen to supposedly attract a new audience and more families, the powers-that-be felt that their own already successful T20 Blast wasn’t exciting enough.
They wanted something new and shiny, something to compete with the juggernaut that is the Indian Premier League, or the Big Bash in Australia.
So, they came up with The Hundred... a match lasting 100 balls per innings, instead of the 120 in a T20 encounter.
And it wouldn’t be played by the counties, but by eight newly set-up franchises based at Test grounds around the country.
It was a controversial move then, and still is now, even in the week that the tournament, three years in development and planning, has actually got underway.
And Ripley will be playing his part, as he steps away from his head coach duties at Northants for a month to take up a role as London Spirit’s assistant coach.
Like many others, the County stalwart initially needed some persuading of its merits when the idea was first put forward, but he now feels the tournament is something that could, in the long run, be good for the game.
“I wasn’t rushing to vote for it myself,” admitted Ripley when asked about his initial thoughts on The Hundred.
“We had a pretty vibrant T20 competition when crowds were allowed, most of the stadia were pretty busy, and we could still attract some good overseas players.
“But it (The Hundred) is a bit of a move on, and the talent is not so diluted if you only have eight teams, so I am sure it is going to have some positive effects.
“We are going to get some crowds in, and every game needs money, so I guess that was one of the main drivers at the start.
“The counties had the chance to get a bit more security with some cash, so throw it all together and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out.”
Ripley will assist Warne on a London Spirit match day for the first time on Friday night when they travel to Edgbaston to take on Birmingham Phoenix.