The Hundred is another professional cricket franchise. It is a 100-ball tournament that consists of teams of eight men’s and eight women’s. The tournament is situated in the different cities of Wales and England and is governed by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board). The very first event happened in July and August 2021.
|Date||Time||Home Team||Away Team|
|10-Aug-2023||14:00||Birmingham Phoenix Women||Welsh Fire Women|
|10-Aug-2023||17:30||Birmingham Phoenix||Welsh Fire|
|11-Aug-2023||14:00||Northern Superchargers Women||Oval Invincibles Women|
|11-Aug-2023||17:30||Northern Superchargers||Oval Invincibles|
|12-Aug-2023||10:00||London Spirit Women||Trent Rockets Women|
|12-Aug-2023||13:30||Welsh Fire Women||Southern Brave Women|
|12-Aug-2023||13:30||London Spirit||Trent Rockets|
|12-Aug-2023||17:00||Welsh Fire||Southern Brave|
|13-Aug-2023||10:00||Northern Superchargers Women||Manchester Originals Women|
|13-Aug-2023||13:30||Birmingham Phoenix Women||Oval Invincibles Women|
|13-Aug-2023||13:30||Northern Superchargers||Manchester Originals|
|13-Aug-2023||17:00||Birmingham Phoenix||Oval Invincibles|
The Hundred was created with the intention of attracting a younger population to try out cricket as well as attracting diverse crowds to follow and watch cricket tournaments. Its format is shorter than the usual cricket tournament format, with every match lasting around 2 and a half hours.
The competition is broadcast by the BBC, although some of the matches are streamed for free on the YouTube channel of Sky Sports. The Hundred gives equal opportunity to both men’s and women’s cricket teams. A single ticket will give you access to both men’s and women’s matches. The winning team of men and women will share the prize.
In September 2016, the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) proposed a city-based cricket Twenty20 match, something that is similar to that of the Indian Premier League. There was a thorough discussion about the proposal and eventually came up with a 16-3 vote from the Professional Cricketers’ Association and the Marylebone Cricket Club in favor of the proposal. It was strengthened further when ECB members cast their votes on April 26, 2017 and came up with 38-3.
In a private meeting with senior cricket officials in October of 2017, it was Sanjay Patel, chief commercial officer of the ECB, who proposed coming up with a new Twenty20 format. He explained to the officials that the new cricket league format would be more beneficial because it was simpler to understand and would appeal to a new audience.
Joe Root, England’s test captain at the time, agreed with Patel, particularly when it came to attracting a new audience. Eoin Morgan, the ODI and T20 captain, agreed too. Furthermore, Michael Vaughan strongly feels that the new cricket tournament format will appeal to broadcasters. It will also help achieve the less than three-hour game duration, especially since the current T20 match lasts more than three hours. Dani Hazell, head coach of the Northern Superchargers and former England player, said that the Hundred will draw investment into the women’s regional structure. It will also be favorable to domestic players as they will learn so much from the tournament.
The Hundred is a limited overs cricket series. There are two teams competing against each other in a single innings consisting of 100 balls. The game duration is two and a half hours. There are a total of 100 balls per innings, but after 10 balls, there’s a change of ends. The bowlers can deliver up to 10 consecutive balls, and per game, a bowler can have a maximum of 20 balls. The bowling side can have a time-out of up to two and a half minutes, but they have to use this time-out smartly. Each team starts with a 25-ball powerplay. During the powerplay, two fielders can be outside the 30-yard circle. Each of the competing teams can call time-outs.
During the school summer holidays, there are eight city-based competing teams. The matches for both the men’s and women’s categories are held at the same venue and on the same day. The league has a total of 32 matches. The team will play four matches at home and another four matches away from home. One match will be played against every other side. There will also be a second bonus match to be played against the team’s nearest regional opponent. The team that emerges victorious heads over to the final round. The second and third spots will compete in the semifinal round, and the winner will head over to the final round.
There are different opinions about the creation of the Hundred, especially that the format is entirely new and includes seven major cities. Some traditionalists prefer the classic cricket format and structure, although there are players and key cricket personalities who are open about the said changes.
Joe Root, the England team’s captain at the time, welcomed the plan to establish the Hundred. According to him, the new format and structure can surely attract a new audience. Eoin Morgan, the ODI and T20 captain, agreed to it along with other key personalities like Michael Atherton and Michael Vaughan.
Keith Bradshaw, a former MCC chief, was very vocal in saying that the ECB cannot exploit the T20 boom and stated that he’s hoping the Hundred was not created for the sake of innovation. In totality, the majority of players were open to the idea of creating the Hundred, as per the report gathered by the England and Wales Professional Cricketers’ Association. Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian team, expressed his concerns about the commercialization of cricket. He was kind of having hesitations about the new cricket league format. The new format was eventually announced and made known to the public. One of the sponsors is KP Snacks, a snack food company, and it was criticized by the anti-obesity groups.
The reaction of social media to the creation of the Hundred is split. Some are okay with the idea, while others are not. In fact, in the October 20, 2019 players’ draft, one of the trending Twitter hashtags is “# OpposeThe100.” A huge number of fans were not okay with the new cricket competition format, especially cricket fans from nations that are not included in the eight city franchises. The same sentiments were shared by Facebook fans. On the other hand, there is less negativity on Instagram, a social media platform preferred by younger age groups. Overall, women cricketers were just so happy about the new cricket tournament format, especially that both men’s and women’s competitions run in parallel and share the same prize. Many were delighted to try professional cricket.
The Hundred’s inaugural season revealed that 55% of the tickets sold were from fans who had never bought a cricket tournament ticket before. Other record-breaking events were also noticed, such as match attendance figures and television viewing, especially in the women’s category. Charlotte Edwards, the former team captain of England’s women’s cricket team, said that the Hundred has changed the way women’s cricket is viewed in the country.
There were eight participating teams, but before the list was confirmed, there were reports that these teams would carry a different identity. In May of 2019, the list of participating teams was made known to the public. These are the following:
The Hundred consists of a male and female team, and each team can have up to 15 players. Three out of 15 can be overseas players. A draft system is used to sign players just like the system used in other sports and franchise leagues. One player must be from England in every competing team in the Hundred. India’s Board of Control for Cricket does not allow Indian players to participate in any overseas franchise events, including the Hundred.
This year’s The Hundred is the second season. The previous seasons were put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic along with the number of fans that prefer traditional cricket over the Hundred. Despite this setback, the Hundred tournament was able to sell 500,000 tickets during its inaugural season. It has resulted in a major boost for the women’s cricket competition. The success of the Hundred’s inaugural season hopes to attract more overseas players to participate in the league, especially in today’s season, considering that the lockdown restrictions caused by the pandemic are a bit relaxed now.
For this season, the team’s salary cap is up to £1,000,000. The first match will take place on August 3, 2022, and will be played at the Ageas Bowl Southampton, and the two opening teams are men’s Southern Brave and Welsh Fire. The match will conclude on August 31, 2022. The Eliminator will be held on September 2, 2022, and the final round will be on September 3, 2022.