The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has today (Thursday) announced that Steve Elworthy will take up a new role as director of special projects following the conclusion of his current contract as managing director of the ongoing World Cup.
As part of this new role, Elworthy will support ECB chief executive Tom Harrison on a range of initiatives across the organisation. This will include working alongside Sanjay Patel, managing director of The Hundred, as a tournament director to help deliver the new men’s and women’s competitions, which will commence in 2020.
The Hundred is an innovative, but controversial addition, to the English cricket calendar. In February, 17 of the 18 first-class cricket counties gave their backing to the ECB’s new competition, with Surrey, a powerhouse of the domestic game, the only county understood to have voted against the proposal.
The Hundred is set to introduce a new format to the sport, scrapping the traditional overs system and instead seeing each team bowl 100-ball innings, broken into blocks of 10. A number of other innovations are planned to make the format more accessible to a wider audience, such as the inclusion of strategic timeouts for the bowling side and a 25-ball ‘Powerplay’ at the start of each innings.
Former South Africa international Elworthy will take up his new post with a wealth of experience of organising major tournaments, both for the ECB, ICC and Cricket South Africa. Elworthy first joined the ECB in 2008 as the tournament director of the 2009 World Twenty20 and was then appointed director of marketing and communications in 2010.
In 2013 he took on a new role as the ECB’s director of global events, before being promoted to managing director of the 2019 World Cup in July 2016.
Speaking about the appointment, Harrison said: “His knowledge and understanding of cricket, on both a global and national level, will be pivotal to the organisation as we look to implement our game-wide strategic plan, Inspiring Generations, over the coming five years.
“The Hundred is one of the major initiatives outlined within the strategic plan. It presents a fantastic opportunity for us to grow the game, not just amongst existing fans, but also to a wider, more diverse audience. I believe that in Sanjay and Steve we have a superb senior team in place that will ensure the inaugural season of the men’s and women’s competitions are a tremendous success.”
The eight city-based teams set to compete in the inaugural edition of The Hundred next year will be confirmed later in the summer, while a player draft will take place in the autumn.