The Hundred (cricket)
|Administrator||England and Wales Cricket Board|
|Tournament format||Round-robin league and Playoffs|
|Number of teams||8|
|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 a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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. 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.
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, with one ticket giving access to both the men's and women's games.
One-hundred-ball cricket was first proposed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in September 2016, following discussions between the 18 first-class counties, the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) also and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), with a vote of 16–3 in favour of the format.
On 26 April 2017, 38 members of the ECB voted to approve the proposal of a city-based competition. Each county is guaranteed at least £1.3m per year. Essex, Middlesex and Kent were those who did not vote in favour. Thirty-eight votes was above the threshold of 31 which was required for approval. 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.
Originally envisioned as a Twenty20 tournament, concerns over the relevance of the current competition structure and the opportunity to attract new fans prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to propose a shortened format. On 19 April 2018, the ECB announced the creation of the entirely new 100-ball cricket format, in which there would be 15 traditional six-ball overs and a final 10-ball over. Other mooted changes include removing the LBW law. The plan drew significant opposition but was supported by England captain Joe Root. 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.
The format of the game is:
- 100 balls per innings
- A change of ends after 10 balls
- Bowlers deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls
- Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per game
- Each bowling side gets a strategic time-out of up to two and a half minutes
- A 25-ball powerplay start for each team
- Two fielders are allowed outside the initial 30-yard circle during the powerplay
- Teams will be able to call time-outs, as has been the case in the IPL since 2009
- A simplified scoreboard is also proposed
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. ODI and T20 captain, Eoin Morgan, expressed a similar opinion. Former T20 captain Stuart Broad said he was hugely optimistic about the new format. 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.
Elsewhere, George Dobell of Cricinfo likened the change in format to the franchising of Kentucky Fried Chicken, but wrote that proposals for outlined by the ECB "are - at worst - nothing more than a small step further down that alley".
Former MCC chief Keith Bradshaw 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. The England and Wales Professional Cricketers' Association announced that, overall, players were "open-minded" about the tournament.
Cricket Australia announced it has no plans to tinker with its existing Big Bash League. It also noted the existing problem regarding the number of domestic tournaments and the ensuing effect on international cricket.
During the player draft on the 20 October 2019, the Twitter hashtag "#OpposeThe100" began trending, 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.
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.
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.
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. However, in May 2019, the team names were revealed to be:
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. At least one England Test player will be signed to each of the eight men's teams competing in The Hundred.
On 3 October 2019 the first players to be allocated to teams were announced. They were as follows:
|Team||England women's central contracted players||England men's central contract player||Local 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|
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- "ECB announces Hundred will start in July with women's match at Oval". the Guardian. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
- "Hundred must show it can 'grow the game' to be a success – ECB". the Guardian. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
- "The Hundred: All women's matches available for free on Sky Sports' YouTube channel | The Cricketer". www.thecricketer.com. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "The Hundred - women fixtures 2021: Full schedule, dates | The Cricketer". www.thecricketer.com. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
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- George Dobell (24 April 2018). "The Hundred 'will bring new people to cricket' - Root". ESPNcricinfo.
- "Playing conditions for The Hundred confirmed". ECB. 21 February 2019.
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- "The Hundred: ECB confirms playing conditions for new format". BBC Sport. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Mark Hughes; Elizabeth Ammon (15 February 2019). "Strategic timeouts to be feature of The Hundred". The Times. (subscription required)
- Elizabeth Ammon (26 April 2018). "100-ball scoreboard may be simplified to lure new fans". The Times. (subscription required)
- George Dobell (19 April 2018). "The Hundred 'will bring new people to cricket' - Root". Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
- Andrew Miller; Alan Gardner (19 April 2018). "Eoin Morgan declares himself a 'big fan' of ECB's 100-ball plans". Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
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- "Mixed reaction to ECB's '100-ball' format". Cricket.com. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
- Andrew Miller (27 April 2018). "Former MCC chief Keith Bradshaw queries ECB innovation for innovation's sake". Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Rob Johnston (8 May 2018). "Players remain open-minded about ECB's 100-ball proposal". Cricbuzz. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
- "Virat Kohli raises concerns over 100-ball format". Cricinfo. ESPN. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
- Jon Pierik (20 April 2018). "CA offers straight bat to 100-ball format". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- Michael Vaughan (21 April 2018). "100-ball game can prove a winner but Test cricket ignored once more". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
- "Cricket tournament criticised over snack deal". 4 October 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "'Oppose The 100' Protestors Asked To Remove T-Shirts At ECB Hearing". Wisden. 23 October 2019.
- "The Hundred 2021 Schedule: Full List Of Men's & Women's Fixtures". Wisden. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
- "A new T20 competition proposed for 2020". ECB. 27 March 2017.
- Ammon, Elizabeth (2 January 2018). "T20 teams will not be tied to cities". The Times.(subscription required)
- Wigmore, Tim (29 May 2019). "ECB decide team names for the much-derided Hundred tournament: all hail the scooby doos". The Telegraph.
- "The Hundred: At least one England Test player to be in each men's team". BBC. BBC. 2 September 2019.
- "|First players named| in The Hundred men's & women's teams". www.ecb.co.uk.
- "The date of The Hundred's first ever men's player draft announced". ecb.co.uk. The England and Wales Cricket Board. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "The Hundred: Who were the big winners from the draft at Sky Studios?". Sky Sports. Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- "Watch: The Hundred Draft - Live". BBC Sport. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)