The Hundred (cricket)
|Administrator||England and Wales Cricket Board Ltd|
|Tournament format||Round-robin league and Playoffs|
|Number of teams||8|
|2020 season of The Hundred|
The Hundred is the title of a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament in England and Wales run by the ECB, commencing in July 2020. The league will consist of eight city-based franchise teams, each of which will field both a men's and women's team.
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) 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 100-ball cricket, 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 Indian Premier League since 2009
- A simplified scoreboard is also proposed
Some experts have stated that proposals for the new format outlined by the ECB are, at worst, nothing more than a small step further down "that alley",[clarification needed] whereas others are appreciating it as a brilliant innovation.
England's current Test captain, Joe Root, welcomed the ECB's plans for its new team format in 2020. According to Root, it will attract a completely new audience. ODI and T20 captain, Eoin Morgan, had a similar opinion about this format. Former T20 captain Stuart Broad said he was hugely optimistic about the new format. Michael Vaughan also echoed with Broad and stated that it will be a more appealing concept to broadcasters. Michael Atherton shared that a T20 match was to be completed in a 3-hour window and this can be achieved with the proposed format.
New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham was bemused on this move, asking why the England and Wales Cricket Board was trying something different when the current format was already so successful. Current limited overs specialists Dawid Malan and Mark Wood shared that in spite of the new format, T20s will still remain as the preference.
Former MCC chief Keith Bradshaw called the 100-ball tournament an innovation for innovation's sake, reasoning that the main reason behind this thought process is that the ECB couldn't exploit the T20 boom. The England and Wales Professional Cricketers' Association shared that, overall, players were open to this new idea.
During the player draft on the 20 October 2019, the Twitter hashtag "#OpposeThe100" began trending from 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 represented city franchises.
There will be eight city-based teams competing for the title over a 38-day period during the school summer holidays, which run from mid-July to early September. Each team will play four matches at home and four matches away (thereby playing their closest rival twice in a format similar to the Big Bash League), which means there will be a total of 32 games in the league that precedes the play-offs.
The play-offs will include the top three teams at the conclusion of the league stage. The top team will progress directly to the final. The second and third teams will meet in a semi-final. The semi-final and final will be played at the same venue on the same day.
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||Rory Burns||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||Jonny Bairstow||Tom Banton, Colin Ingram|
Before the eight teams were confirmed, it was reported that they would carry a different identity to the current county teams and would not be named after cities, counties or venues. In May 2019, the details of the team names were revealed to be:
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- "|First players named| in The Hundred men's & women's teams". www.ecb.co.uk.
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- 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.