WELSH Fire cricket manager Mark Wallace has backed the decision to delay the Hundred competition until 2021.

The new 100-ball competition was set to start in July with eight city-based teams but the coronavirus pandemic has led to the England and Wales Cricket Board pushing it back a year.

A side is going to be based as Sophia Gardens in Cardiff with Australia’s Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc, England’s Jonny Bairstow and Glamorgan’s big-hitting South African Colin Ingram among the players in the men’s team.

Bristol and Taunton were the prime venues for the women’s team, which features Aussie star Meg Lanning, with one fixture in the capital.

The ECB are hoping the competition will attract a more diverse audience with a number of matches shown on the BBC.

But they made the call to wait until 2021 because the pandemic made it likely cricket would have to be played behind closed doors, plus travel restrictions would affect players and coaches from overseas.

"It's crucial this new competition starts off on the right foot, so postponing it for a year is far from ideal, but probably sensible,” said Wallace to the BBC.

"The idea of the new competition is to access new audiences, linking in with kids, and push a new brand identity.

"But with everything which is going on, everyone in lockdown, that wasn't going to be able to happen. Hopefully it'll kick off next season and have a bright future."

"Ideally we'd like to keep the majority of those players, we thought it was the strongest side we could put out for Welsh Fire," continued Wallace, director of cricket at Glamorgan and Newport captain.

"We'll find out which of those players is able to stay with us but we were very happy with the squad we had."

Glamorgan's season has been delayed until the start of July at the earliest with players and coaches furloughed.

If it is possible to play any games in 2020 then the priority will be on the T20 Blast and white-ball cricket.

Glamorgan are supposed to be heading for Newport in the One-Day Cup, hosting Yorkshire on Friday, July 31 and Nottinghamshire on Sunday, August 2.