The Hundred was a success – but it must keep growing

The Hundred was quality. Great crowds, great atmosphere, great cricket and dramatic finale to the men’s final to top things off.

There are still things that they need to sort out to keep growing the event, though.

I think private ownership needs to come into play as soon as possible. Now that the ECB have decided to move the Ashes to keep August clear in the calendar, they have a chance to make this huge.

Private ownership would allow the money to go up, meaning that the best players prioritise this event and want to stay for the entirety.

At the end of the day, they’re guns for hire. That’s the nature of the beast. The Big Bash, and the new South Africa and Dubai T20 tournaments are paying their players handsomely, so The Hundred must keep up.

It needs to strive to be the second-biggest franchise tournament in the world, behind the IPL.

South Africa must make one last push

England v South Africa in a decider at The Oval is a huge occasion.

It should be a great week, finishing off the international summer in front of a good crowd. I’m going to be working on the game for Sky, which will be good fun.

It’s a week for everybody to leave everything out on the field, particularly South Africa, who are at the end of a long, hard tour of the UK.

I know Mark Boucher will be asking his players to put in one last big shift. He’ll be rallying his troops.

Hopefully they pick Marco Jansen for this Test match because they got it wrong leaving him out at Old Trafford.

With the way England play, it should be a fantastic week.

Bairstow injury proves how fragile your career is

Sport is a difficult occupation in the sense that it can all be taken away from you so quickly.

Jonny Bairstow will have woken up that morning last week thinking everything he touches turns to gold and then one slip and there goes the rest of your year.

Sportspeople must value every single day on which they are fit and playing at the highest level, because these things can happen.

It’s also a message to all youngsters, too. I tell my boy all the time that injuries can happen, freak circumstances can happen, so make sure you’re ready for it.

Wanting to make it in sport is fantastic, but an education and a life away from the game is crucial.

Jonny has obviously already made it to the top but it’s so sad that a brilliant year for him ends like this.

On the flip side, it gives an extremely talented batter a chance to get his England career going.

I was talking about Harry Brook during The Hundred last year and I said that this guy can be very good for England in all formats. He is the future, in my opinion. He’s got all the shots and can play in so many different circumstances.

And sometimes, coming in for the last Test of the summer can be quite nice because there’s no pressure but plenty of reward.

Nobody expects too much of you but if you make runs then it’s the last thing everybody remembers for a few months. I remember Jonathan Trott scoring a century on his debut in the last Test of the summer of 2009 and suddenly he was established in the team.

I wouldn’t have dropped Jason Roy

I understand why they’ve done it, but personally I would’ve stuck with Jason Roy for the T20 World Cup.

You don’t want an opening batter walking out at the MCG not having done it before. You want that solidity at the top and that experience of what it takes on such a big occasion.

He has had some horrendous dismissals, I get that. He’s hardly been able to score a run this summer.

I think after the World Cup it might have been time to get rid of him, particularly if he didn’t perform.

But I’m disappointed for him because he’s had a brilliant England career and he deserved another chance at a major event.

Brilliant to see India v Pakistan again

India v Pakistan is one of the biggest games in all sport, no doubt.

You feel it here in the UK. So many people have asked me whether I watched it, whether I was following it and what I thought of it. The nature of those two countries doing battle creates such a feverish atmosphere.

For them to have won one T20 each in the Asia Cup means that hopefully we will see a final to decide the contest in the next few days.

It would be of great benefit to see the fixture played more often.

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