The Hundred (cricket)

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The Hundred
The Hundred Logo.png
CountriesFlag of England.svg  England
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Administrator England and Wales Cricket Board
Format 100-ball cricket
First edition 2021
Tournament format Round-robin league and Playoffs
Number of teams8
Cricket current event.svg 2021 season of The Hundred

The Hundred is a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament involving eight men's and women's teams located in major cities across England and Wales. The tournament will be run by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and will take place for the first time in summer 2021, having been delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [1] It's mainly aimed to introduce cricket to the young generation.

Contents

The format was invented to attract younger and more diverse crowds to watch cricket, with the expectation that the shorter format will mean each match lasts around two-and-a-half hours. [2] The BBC will show free-to-air broadcasts of the competition, while all of the women's matches and some of the men's matches will be available to stream for free on Sky Sports' YouTube channel. [3] [4]

The tournament will give equal weight to both men's and women's sides, with almost all the matches taking place as back-to-back double-headers at the same venue on the same day. One ticket will give access to both the men's and women's games, while men and women will share the same prize money. [5] [6]

Origins

A new city-based cricket Twenty20 competition similar to the enormously popular and financially successful Indian Premier League was first proposed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in September 2016. Following early discussions between the 18 first-class counties, the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) also and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) they voted 16–3 in favour of developing the competition. [7]

Cricket does not stand still. A lot of people talk about tradition, and say we cannot change this or that. It is rubbish. If we sit and do nothing, we will get left behind. We have created something that is different. When we launched T20, we missed a trick. We should have patented it and, if the rest of the world wanted it, said: ‘Cough up.’ We gave them T20, and a lot of countries did it better than us.

Not many at the ECB believed in T20. They thought it was a gimmick, so we did not get behind it. Not this time. We do not want to miss an opportunity with The Hundred. If we do it properly, we will have something unique, and worth a lot of money. Yes, we have had a rough ride, and some of that was of our own making. But, behind the scenes, the guys have been determined to develop something good for cricket

Colin Graves, ECB board chairman [8]

On 26 April 2017, members of the ECB voted by 38-3 to push ahead with the new competition, with each traditional first class county guaranteed income of at least £1.3m per year in return for their support. Essex, Middlesex and Kent were those who did not vote in favour. Essex had aired concerns over the how the reduced number of sides would focus in the competition on certain areas of the country, Middlesex would not have benefitted from the use of Lord's, because, unlike other counties, the club does not own its home ground, and Kent chose not to vote. [9]

The idea of switching the competition from the established Twenty20 format to an entirely new type of cricket was first proposed by Sanjay Patel, the ECB's chief commercial officer, in a private October 2017 meeting with senior cricket officials. He argued that the hundred ball format would be simpler to understand for the new audiences that the competition wants to attract. The initial reaction from those present was "How the heck is that going to work?" but Patel urged them to ponder the change: "Don’t prejudge it. Just go away and have a think." [8]

Format

On 19 April 2018, the ECB informed the county cricket clubs for the first time that they were proposing an entirely new 100-ball cricket format, in which there would be 15 traditional six-ball overs and a final 10-ball over. [10] Other mooted changes include removing the LBW law. [11] The plan drew significant opposition but was supported by England captain Joe Root. [12] On 21 February 2019, the ECB confirmed revised playing conditions in which there would be ten 10-ball overs with bowlers delivering five or 10 consecutive balls. [13]

One-hundred-ball cricket is a form of limited overs cricket, played by two teams each playing a single innings made up of 100 balls. [14] Games last approximately two and a half hours. [15]

The format of the game is:

Reaction

The decision to create an entirely new format of cricket, with teams based in just seven major cities, has split opinion between traditionalists who favour the historic county cricket structure and those who feel the sport has to change to reach new audiences.

Some current England players have been positive about the Hundred. England's current Test captain, Joe Root, welcomed the ECB's plans, believing it would attract a completely new audience to the game. [19] ODI and T20 captain, Eoin Morgan, expressed a similar opinion. [20] Former T20 captain Stuart Broad said he was hugely optimistic about the new format. [21] Michael Vaughan echoed Broad's comments, believing that it would be an appealing concept to broadcasters, and Michael Atherton stated while a T20 match was rarely completed in a three-hour window, this can be achieved with the Hundred. [22]

However, former MCC chief Keith Bradshaw said he hoped the 100-ball tournament would not be "innovation for innovation's sake", and voiced his concern that the new format would mean that the ECB could not exploit the T20 boom. [23] The England and Wales Professional Cricketers' Association announced that, overall, players were "open-minded" about the tournament. [24] India captain Virat Kohli cited concerns about the commercialisation of cricket and was not entirely in favour of the new version of the game. [25]

After the teams and branding was announced, anti-obesity groups criticised the sponsorship from snack food company KP Snacks. [26]

Social media reaction has also been split. During the player draft on the 20 October 2019, the Twitter hashtag "#OpposeThe100" began trending, [27] with a vocal section of cricket fans dismayed at the format of the competition, particularly fans of counties whose home grounds are not among the eight used by city franchises. Wisden noted that the response on Twitter and Facebook "has usually been cutting" but there has been less negativity on Instagram which is "mainly used by a younger age group". [8]

Women cricketers have been particularly enthusiastic about the new format and the decision to run both competitions in parallel, with the same prize money, allowing many to turn professional for the first time. [28]

Tournament structure

There will be eight city-based teams competing for the first title over a month between 21 July and 21 August 2021, ensuring that the competition takes place during the school summer holidays. Aside from the opening two fixtures featuring the Oval Invincibles vs the Manchester Originals, all men's and women's matches will be held on the same day at the same grounds.

In total there will be 32 matches in the league. Each team will play four matches at home and four matches away, This will include one match against every other side and then a second bonus match against their nearest regional rivals. [29]

Once the league table has been settled the top three teams will then compete in playoffs to decide the ultimate champion. The second and third teams will meet in a semi-final, which will be played at the Oval. The winner of the semi-final will meet the team that finished top of the league in the final at Lord's, where they will compete to be crowned champions. [30]

Teams

Before the eight teams were confirmed, it was reported that they would carry a different identity to the long-established county teams and would not be named after cities, counties or venues. [31] [32] However, in May 2019, the team names were revealed to be: [33]

TeamVenueMen's CoachWomen's CoachGround
Manchester Originals Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Old Trafford, Manchester Simon Katich Paul Shaw Old Trafford Cricket Ground August 2014 (cropped).jpg
Northern Superchargers Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground, Headingley, Leeds Darren Lehmann Danielle Hazell HeadingleyOblique.jpg
Birmingham Phoenix Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Edgbaston, Birmingham Daniel Vettori Ben Sawyer Edgbaston Cricket Ground 4 (6689882649).jpg
Trent Rockets Trent Bridge, West Bridgford, Nottingham Andy Flower Salliann Briggs Trent Bridge (5932578221).jpg
Welsh Fire
(Welsh : Tân Cymreig)
Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna, Cardiff Gary Kirsten Matthew Mott 2015 Ashes series First Test, Day 3, Session 1.JPG
London Spirit Lord's Cricket Ground, St. John's Wood, London Shane Warne Lisa Keightley Lords-Cricket-Ground-Pavilion-06-08-2017.jpg
Oval Invincibles The Oval, Kennington, London Tom Moody Lydia Greenway The Oval Pavilion Kennington.JPG
Southern Brave Rose Bowl, West End, Hampshire Mahela Jayawardene Charlotte Edwards Rosebowl.png

Squads

Each team is to be made up of 15 players, of whom a maximum of three may be overseas players. Players will be signed using a draft system common in other franchise leagues. Two of the 15 players will come from players who performed well in the T20 Blast. [31] At least one England Test player will be signed to each of the eight men's teams competing in The Hundred.

The Salary Cap per team for 2021 Season is £800,000($1.1M) [34]

On 3 October 2019 the first players to be allocated to teams were announced. [35] They were as follows:

TeamEngland women's central contracted playersEngland men's central contract playerLocal icons
Birmingham Phoenix Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon Chris Woakes Moeen Ali, Pat Brown
London Spirit Heather Knight, Freya Davies Zak Crawley Eoin Morgan, Dan Lawrence
Manchester Originals Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone Jos Buttler Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson
Northern Superchargers Lauren Winfield, Linsey Smith Ben Stokes Adil Rashid, David Willey
Oval Invincibles Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson Sam Curran Jason Roy, Tom Curran
Southern Brave Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt Jofra Archer James Vince, Chris Jordan
Trent Rockets Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt Joe Root Alex Hales, Harry Gurney
Welsh Fire (Tân Cymreig) Katie George, Bryony Smith Ollie Pope Tom Banton, Colin Ingram

The draft took place on 20 October 2019 at Sky Studios in Osterley. [36] Sky Sports and BBC Sport showed the event live. [37] [38]

Broadcasting

All games will be televised by Sky Sports, with the BBC also showing 10 men's and 8 women's games free-to-air. [31] [9]

The BBC announced that their coverage would be presented by Isa Guha joined by Michael Vaughan, Phil Tufnell, Carlos Brathwaite and Heather Knight for insight and analysis.[ citation needed ]

FanCode acquired exclusive four-year broadcast rights for India. [39]

See also

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