The Hundred (cricket)

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The Hundred Logo.png
AdministratorEngland and Wales Cricket Board
Format100-ball cricket
First edition2021
Latest edition2021
Tournament formatRound-robin league and Playoffs
Number of teams8 (women's)
8 (men's)
Current championOval Invincibles (women's) (1st title)
Southern Brave (men's) (1st title)
Most successfulOval Invincibles (women's) (1 title)
Southern Brave (men's) (1 title)

The Hundred is a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament involving eight mens' and eight women's teams located in major cities across England and Wales. The tournament is run by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and took place for the first time in July and August 2021.

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.[1] The BBC showed free-to-air broadcasts of the competition, while all of the women's matches and some of the men's matches were available to stream for free on Sky Sports' YouTube channel.[2][3]

The tournament gave 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 gave access to both the men's and women's games, while men and women shared the same prize money.[4][5]


A new city-based cricket Twenty20 competition similar to 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) and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) they voted 16–3 in favour of developing the competition.[6] On 26 April 2017, members of the ECB voted by 38-3 to push ahead with the new competition.[7]

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 new audiences that the competition wants to attract.[8]

England's current Test captain, Joe Root, welcomed the ECB's plans, believing it would attract a completely new audience to the game.[9] ODI and T20 captain Eoin Morgan expressed a similar opinion.[10] Former T20 captain Stuart Broad said he was hugely optimistic about the new format.[11] Michael Vaughan echoed Broad's comments, believing that it would be an appealing concept to broadcasters, and Michael Atherton stated that while a T20 match was rarely completed in a three-hour window, this can be achieved with the Hundred.[12]

Former England player and Northern Superchargers head coach Dani Hazell stated that the tournament would help with investment into the women’s regional structure and the tournament would be an important learning experience for domestic players.[13]

The tournament was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[14]


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.[15] Games last approximately two and a half hours.[16]

The format of the game is:

  • 100 balls per innings[17]
  • A change of ends after 10 balls[17]
  • Bowlers deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls[17]
  • Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per game[17]
  • Each bowling side gets a strategic time-out of up to two and a half minutes[17]
  • A 25-ball powerplay start for each team[17]
  • Two fielders are allowed outside the initial 30-yard circle during the powerplay[17]
  • Teams will be able to call time-outs, as has been the case in the IPL since 2009[18]
  • The non-striker must return to their original end after a caught dismissal[19]
  • No-balls are worth two runs and a free hit[19]

Tournament structure[edit]

Eight city-based teams competed for the first title over a month between 21 July and 21 August 2021, ensuring that the competition took 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 were held on the same day at the same grounds.

In total there were 32 matches in the league. Each team played 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.[20]

Once the league table was settled the top three team competed in playoffs to decide the ultimate champion. The second and third teams met in a semi-final, played at the Oval. The winner of the semi-final met the team that finished top of the league in the final at Lord's, where they competed to be crowned champions.[21]


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 wish to see change.

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.[22] ODI and T20 captain Eoin Morgan expressed a similar opinion.[23] Former T20 captain Stuart Broad said he was hugely optimistic about the new format.[24] 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.[25]

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.[26] The England and Wales Professional Cricketers' Association announced that, overall, players were "open-minded" about the tournament.[27] India captain Virat Kohli cited concerns about the commercialisation of cricket and was not entirely in favour of the new version of the game.[28]

After the teams and branding was announced, anti-obesity groups criticised the sponsorship from snack food company KP Snacks.[29]

Social media reaction has also been split. During the player draft on the 20 October 2019, the Twitter hashtag "#OpposeThe100" began trending,[30] 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.[31]

At the conclusion of the inaugural season, it was revealed that 55% of tickets were bought by people who had never bought one before, and that several records were set with regards to television viewing and match attendance figures, particularly for the women's matches. Former England women's captain Charlotte Edwards said that the tournament had "single-handedly changed women’s cricket in this country".[32]


Before the eight teams were confirmed, it was reported that they would carry a different identity from the long-established county teams and would not be named after cities, counties or venues.[33][34] However, in May 2019, the team names were revealed to be:[35]

Team Venue Ground
Manchester Originals Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Trafford
Northern Superchargers Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds
Birmingham Phoenix Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham
Trent Rockets Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Welsh Fire
(Welsh: Tân Cymreig)
Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
London Spirit Lord's, London
Oval Invincibles The Oval, London
Southern Brave Rose Bowl, Southampton


Each team was made up of 15 players, of whom a maximum of three could be overseas players. Players were signed using a draft system common in other franchise leagues. Two of the 15 players came from players who performed well in the T20 Blast.[33] 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 the 2021 season is £800,000 ($1.1M).[36] On 3 October 2019, the first players to be allocated to the 2021 season of The Hundred were announced.[37] The draft took place on 20 October 2019 at Sky Studios in Osterley.[38] Sky Sports and BBC Sport showed the event live.[39][40] However, the postponement of the tournament and Coronavirus restrictions led to a number of changes - especially in regards to overseas players - from the drafted squads.



All games were televised by Sky Sports, with the BBC also showing 10 men's and 8 women's games free-to-air.[33][7]

FanCode acquired exclusive four-year broadcast rights for India.[41]

In Germany, Sky Sport streamed the initial tournament on their website. They used the signal from Sky Sports UK.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ECB announces Hundred will start in July with women's match at Oval". The Guardian. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Hundred must show it can 'grow the game' to be a success – ECB". The Guardian. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  3. ^ "The Hundred: All women's matches available for free on Sky Sports' YouTube channel". The Cricketer. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  4. ^ "The Hundred - women fixtures 2021: Full schedule, dates". The Cricketer. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Men's and women's competitions to have equal prize money". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  6. ^ "T20: English counties vote for new eight-team competition". BBC Sport. 14 September 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  7. ^ a b "City-based Twenty20 tournament featuring eight teams gets approval for 2020". 26 April 2017.
  8. ^ a b "The Birth Of The Hundred: Bitterness, Betrayal & Accusations Of Bullying". Wisden. 15 June 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  9. ^ George Dobell (19 April 2018). "The Hundred 'will bring new people to cricket' - Root". Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Mixed reaction to ECB's '100-ball' format".
  12. ^ "Mixed reaction to ECB's '100-ball' format".
  13. ^ "The Hundred and women's cricket: A search for equality with a little way to go | The Cricketer". Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  14. ^ "The launch of The Hundred moved to 2021". Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  15. ^ "100-ball cricket: New short-form competition confirmed by ECB". BBC Sport. 29 November 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  16. ^ "The Hundred: Your guide to cricket's new quickfire competition". Sky News. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "The Hundred: ECB confirms playing conditions for new format". BBC Sport. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  18. ^ Mark Hughes; Elizabeth Ammon (15 February 2019). "Strategic timeouts to be feature of The Hundred". The Times. (subscription required)
  19. ^ a b "The Hundred: Beginner's guide to England's experiment". Cricket Australia. 20 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  20. ^ "The Hundred 2021 Schedule: Full List Of Men's & Women's Fixtures". Wisden. 23 February 2021. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  21. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ George Dobell (19 April 2018). "The Hundred 'will bring new people to cricket' - Root". ESPN Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  23. ^ Andrew Miller; Alan Gardner (19 April 2018). "Eoin Morgan declares himself a 'big fan' of ECB's 100-ball plans". ESPN Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Mixed reaction to ECB's '100-ball' format".
  25. ^ "Mixed reaction to ECB's '100-ball' format".
  26. ^ Andrew Miller (27 April 2018). "Former MCC chief Keith Bradshaw queries ECB innovation for innovation's sake". ESPN Cricinfo. ESPN. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  27. ^ Rob Johnston (8 May 2018). "Players remain open-minded about ECB's 100-ball proposal". Cricbuzz. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  28. ^ "Virat Kohli raises concerns over 100-ball format". ESPN Cricinfo. ESPN. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  29. ^ "Cricket tournament criticised over snack deal". BBC News. 4 October 2019.
  30. ^ "'Oppose The 100' Protestors Asked To Remove T-Shirts At ECB Hearing". Wisden. 23 October 2019.
  31. ^ "'The Hundred is going to be massive, not just for women's cricket but women's sport in general'". 23 February 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  32. ^ Desk, News (23 August 2021). "ECB hoping to 'migrate' new audiences from The Hundred to other formats". Cricket365. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  33. ^ a b c "A new T20 competition proposed for 2020". ECB. 27 March 2017.
  34. ^ Ammon, Elizabeth (2 January 2018). "T20 teams will not be tied to cities". The Times.(subscription required)
  35. ^ Wigmore, Tim (29 May 2019). "ECB decide team names for the much-derided Hundred tournament: all hail the scooby doos". The Telegraph.
  36. ^ "The Hundred: At least one England Test player to be in each men's team". BBC. BBC. 2 September 2019.
  37. ^ "|First players named| in The Hundred men's & women's teams".
  38. ^ "The date of The Hundred's first ever men's player draft announced". The England and Wales Cricket Board. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  39. ^ "The Hundred: Who were the big winners from the draft at Sky Studios?". Sky Sports. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  40. ^ "Watch: The Hundred Draft - Live". BBC Sport. 18 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  41. ^ "Fancode bags broadcasting rights for 'The Hundred' - ET BrandEquity".
  42. ^ ""The Hundred" - das Cricket-Turnier der Extraklasse - live auf Sky". Sky Sport (in German). Retrieved 25 July 2021.

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