The England & Wales Cricket Board is "threatening to abandon" the Kia Oval as a host venue for The Hundred in an "act of retribution" after Surrey County Cricket Club voted against the format chosen for English cricket’s new competition that starts next year, according to Hughes & Ammon of the LONDON TIMES. ECB Chair Colin Graves "has told several counties that the Oval could be dropped when the eight teams are announced next month." Bristol and Chelmsford are potential alternative venues. Graves is understood to be "seeking approval from the ECB board to remove the Oval." It would be a "dramatic change of direction" a year before the launch of the "controversial" tournament, as well as a "major gamble to sideline the biggest club in the country." Surrey had voted in favor of the ECB creating a new competition but is "understood to have voted against changing the format to 100 balls last month." Surrey has been a vocal critic of The Hundred, "arguing that neither the club nor their members believe a fourth format is needed, particularly when they have a track record of selling out" the Oval for T20 matches (LONDON TIMES, 2/20).
Events and Attractions
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the funding that previously was used to finance Formula 1 will be allocated to the Mayan Train project. He said, "I don't know how the Formula 1 contracts are; if they are not signed, we will not be able to." Mexico has until Feb. 28 to renew its contract with F1 (LA AFICIÓN, 2/19).
The Rivolto Air Base in Udine, Italy, will host a start of a stage of the 2020 Giro d'Italia, organizers announced on Tuesday. The start will honor the 60th anniversary of the Frecce Tricolori (CYCLING NEWS, 2/19).
Amid calls for boycott, "the clamour for tickets" for the marquee ODI World Cup clash between India and Pakistan in Manchester on June 16 "has reached a crescendo, with more than 400,000 applicants" for the match at 75,000-seat Old Trafford (PTI, 2/20).