England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is mulling over deferring the inaugural season of its ambitious project The Hundred, a 100-ball cricket tournament, to 2021 in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The international cricket calendar has been wiped out by the COVID-19 which has claimed over 30,000 lives globally and infected more than 7,50,000 so far.

Almost all major sporting events across the world including Tokyo Olympics, Euro 2020 Championships among others have been delayed by a year with several countries having imposed a complete lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

The tournament was to get underway from July 17 but with sporting event in the United Kingdom being cancelled, The Hundred’s fate seems to be headed in the same direction.

“The ECB heads had internally discussed postponing The Hundred by a month very recently, in the wake of the outbreak,” The Times of India quoted a source as saying. “At that time, it seemed like a realistic approach. What seems more realistic right now is postponing The Hundred to 2021. The current situation leaves ECB with no better choice.”

ECB has reportedly stopped the sale of tickets for the event as well.

“Ideally, the postponement of 2020 Olympics should’ve held the ECB in good stead. But that is not the case anymore. Travel bans are likely to stay in place for all of the English summer. A thorough postponement is the only choice,” the daily quoted sources as saying.

However, according to Kate Miller, ECB director of communications, has denied the reports saying at this stage, the tournament will go ahead as per original schedule.

“At the moment, we are looking at number of scenarios across June-July and August on what we might do with the cricket season in the wake of Covid-19. The Hundred goes ahead at this stage, it’s still on schedule,” Miller told Sportstar.

The eight-team franchise-based tournament is scheduled to run from Jul 17-August 15.