Hundred faces MLC clash as 2024 fixtures are announced

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The Hundred will clash with Major League Cricket (MLC) for the first time in 2024. The two leagues will be in direct competition for the world’s leading men’s players in late July, after narrowly avoiding an overlap last year.

MLC, which launched last year and is backed by Indian and American investors, announced last month that its second season will launch on July 4 and conclude “by early August”, with dates and fixtures due to be finalised imminently. The ECB announced the Hundred’s fixture list on Tuesday, with The Oval hosting the opening men’s and women’s matches on July 23.

The Hundred will also go up against an England men’s international in 2024, after a dedicated window last year. England’s third Test against West Indies starts on July 26, which will rule those involved out of at least the first week of the Hundred. There will not be a clash for England’s women, who finish a T20I series against New Zealand on July 17.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the Hundred is unlikely to clash with the Caribbean Premier League in 2024. The men’s and women’s finals will again be held at Lord’s on August 18 and while CPL dates are yet to be finalised, a source said that it is unlikely to start until the final week of August as things stand.

But the clash with MLC will pose a major challenge in terms of availability. Last year, the inaugural MLC final took place two days before the Hundred started and 19 players – including Tim David, Heinrich Klaasen and Sunil Narine – made at least one appearance in both leagues, highlighting the reliance on a similar player pool.
The ECB have made clear their concern about the launch of a new lucrative franchise league during the northern hemisphere summer and told centrally-contracted players that they would not be given No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for MLC. Jason Roy was the only Englishman to feature last summer and is expected to return to LA Knight Riders for at least some of the 2024 season.

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

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