2024 Fixtures Unveil a Hundred Faces MLC Clash

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In 2024, The Hundred will face off against Major League Cricket (MLC) for the first time. Both leagues will compete for the top men’s players worldwide in late July, narrowly avoiding a scheduling overlap last year.

MLC, which launched last year with backing from Indian and American investors, announced last month that its second season will kick off on July 4 and conclude “by early August,” with specific dates and fixtures to be confirmed soon. The ECB unveiled The Hundred’s fixture list, with The Oval hosting the opening men’s and women’s matches on July 23.

In 2024, the Hundred will also compete directly with an England men’s international match, as opposed to having a dedicated window like last year. England’s third Test against West Indies begins on July 26, ruling out players from at least the first week of the Hundred. However, there will be no schedule clash for England’s women, as they finish a T20I series against New Zealand on July 17.

It is unlikely that the Hundred will overlap with the Caribbean Premier League in 2024. The men’s and women’s finals will be held at Lord’s on August 18, and while CPL dates are not yet finalised, it is expected to start in the final week of August.

The clash with MLC will pose a significant challenge in terms of player availability. Last year, the inaugural MLC final took place just two days before the start of the Hundred, and 19 players, including Tim David, Heinrich Klaasen, and Sunil Narine, appeared in both leagues, highlighting the reliance on a similar player pool. The ECB has expressed concern about the launch of a new lucrative franchise league during the northern hemisphere summer and has informed centrally-contracted players that they will not be given No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for MLC.

The ICC voted last year to introduce a global limit of four overseas players per team in franchise leagues, which MLC currently exceeds – although the cap only applies to new leagues. Richard Thompson, the ECB’s chair, criticized leagues that are “basically international tournaments masquerading as domestic competitions,” with reference to MLC.

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