ECB chief executive Tom Harrison received a six-figure pay rise as a reward for pushing through the game's new 100-ball competition.
The ECB's accounts for 2018-19 show that the governing body remunerated Harrison, its highest paid director, a total of £719,175 - up £114,301 from the previous year.
The 19 per cent increase coincided with the 18 first-class counties being persuaded to accept The Hundred competition as the centre piece of a new five-year plan for the sport.
Funded by a new £1.1billion television deal, the ECB is committed to spending £180million on the new eight-team venture, which starts in July 2020. The vision is to not only appeal to existing cricket fans but win over new ones who do not currently like it because they consider it too long, too complex and too inaccessible.
Having overcome initial resistance from within the game to the introduction of a fourth format, the ECB finally revealed some of the market research behind their decision on Wednesday - but earned mockery on social media after using a photo of a crowd at a rap concert in Miami on the tournament's new website.
The stock photo, depicting fans of American rapper Logic, was swiftly replaced at thehundred.com by an image of a young girl joining in a chant at a football match. That, in turn, eventually gave way to a photo of several young girls watching cricket - one of the demographics the ECB hope to attract.
Harrison insisted the board had to be 'bold to grow the game', while Sanjay Patel, the tournament's managing director, cited the discrepancy between the 10.5m cricket fans the ECB believe exist in the UK, and the 1.1m who attend matches each year. It is the missing 9.4m, according to the board, who need to be targeted to make the competition a success.
Harrison said: 'The Hundred is about growing the game, and giving more people the opportunity to be part of cricket's future.'
The ECB, who also claimed that 9m non-cricket fans would 'take a greater interest in cricket if matches were easier to understand', said their findings were the result of four years' research involving over 100,000 'current and potential' fans, and were based on the analysis of over 100m 'data points'.
A player draft will be broadcast live on Sky, with coverage across the BBC, on October 20, though many of England's best players will not be available. The ECB also face a tough challenge trying to persuade India to release their star players for the event - a crucial cog in the tournament's marketing wheel.
The annual figures, published on Wednesday, show that the ECB addressed consecutive huge losses (£30.2m in 2017-18) with a small profit, which resulted in group reserves rising from £8.6million to £11.2million.
Significantly, in the company's strategic report, 'reliance on core income streams' was identified as a major risk. Twelve months ago, the ECB included the 'status of Test cricket' as one of its prominent risk factors for the first time.
While England, Australia and India are committed to the traditional form of the game, a proportion of players from other leading countries have begun to prioritise global franchise tournaments and the ECB are fully committed to setting up new earning opportunities via their Hundred brand.