There’s no other sport that has been more inventive than cricket in the past decades. And there’s doubt that the fans have accepted each and every format with both hands. The T20 is already a major format with an exclusive World cup and the T10 format is gradually growing with international stars playing the league. Now, the England Cricket Board introduces “The Hundred Cricket”, another dimension to the gentlemen’s game. Let’s delve into The Hundred and get to know about it more…
What is the hundred cricket?
The Hundred cricket is a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament. The hundred involves 8 men’s and women’s teams which are located in all the major cities across Wales & England. The tournament will be governed by Wales & the England Cricket Board (ECB). The HUndred will take place for the first time in the 2021 summer. The tournament was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main focus to introduce the hundred is to increase the participation of the young generation in cricket.
The Hundred Cricket rules
Cricket is such a game with so many rules and things even get complicated at times. The Hundred is basically 100 balls in an innings. There are a lot of changes in rules compared to contemporary cricket.
- The concept of overs is deconstructed. Captains can decide whether any bowler can bowl either five or ten consecutive deliveries.
- The change of ends happens after every 10 balls.
- A bowler can bowl a maximum of 20 balls in an innings.
- The powerplay period is the first 25 balls. The field restrictions are just like T20 cricket, with two fielders outside the inner ring.
- A two-minute strategic time-out can be called by the bowling side once in an innings. The coach can intervene and exchange tactics with the players during the time-out.
- A no-ball awards two runs to the batting side rather than one.
- During a catch or run-out dismissal, the non-striker cannot take strike by the batters crossing each other.
The teams and tournament format
Eight England-based franchises lock horns in round-robin league matches followed by IPL model playoffs. Two tournaments for Men’s and Women’s happen on the same day with the same fixtures.
The Hundred Cricket Teams
The 100 cricket: London Spirit
- Coach (Men): Shane Warne
- Coach (Women): Trevor Griffin
- Venue: Lord’s Cricket Ground, St. John’s Wood, London
Eoin Morgan (c)
Roelof Van Der Merwe
Heather Knight (c)
The hundred cricket: Manchester Originals
- Coach (Men): Simon Katich
- Coach (women): Paul Shaw
- Venue: Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Old Trafford, Manchester
Jos Buttler (c)
Kate Cross (c)
Mignon du Preez
The hundred cricket: Birmingham Pheonix
- Coach (Men): Daniel Vettori
- Coach (Women): Ben Sawyer
- Venue: Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Moeen Ali (c)
Amy Jones (c)
The 100 cricket: Oval Invincibles
- Coach (Men): Tom Moody
- Coach (Women): Jon Batty
- Venue: The Oval, Kennington, London
Sam Billings (c)
Dane Van Niekerk
The 100 cricket: Welsh Fire
- Coach (Men): Gary Kirsten
- Coach (Women): Mark O’Leary
- Venue: Sophia Gardens, Pontcanna, Cardiff
Jonny Bairstow (c)
Jimmy Neesham (first three games)
Leus du Plooy
- Coach (Men): Andy Flower
- Coach (women): Salliann Beams
- Venue: Trent Bridge, West Bridgford, Nottingham
Lewis Gregory (c)
Timm van der Gugten
Nat Sciver (c)
- Coach (Men): Mahela Jayawardene
- Coach (Women): Charlotte Edwards
- Venue: Rose Bowl, West End, Hampshire
Colin de Grandhomme
Quinton de Kock
James Vince (c)
- Coach (Men): Daren Lehman
- Coach (Women): Dani Hazell
- Venue: Emerald Headingley Cricket Ground, Headingley, Leeds
Faf du Plessis (c)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Lauren Winfield-Hill (c)
The reason behind The Hundred
T20 Leagues have taken cricket to another level. The IPL continues to exist as the toughest and superlative cricket league in the world. There’s no doubt that the revenue incurred from the IPL over the years elevated BCCI’s power among other cricket boards. The idea of intertwining cricket and entertainment with celebrities, fan bases, and colorful pyro works was first introduced by India.
Later the renovated Big Bash League and the Caribbean Premier League followed the same path. England has its T20 Blast but its viewership and exposure on an international scale are very minimal. The ECB thought of having a similar league that entertains young audiences and families. The Hundred was supposed to commence last year but the pandemic stood by the way.
As former English cricketer and former director of ECB Andrew Strauss said, this is aimed at the young audience, mums, and kids to have fun during the summer holidays. In a country like England where the audience for traditional cricket matches is diminishing, this is seen as a way to make cricket great again. Adding all the ticket sales, broadcasting, and sponsorships, The Hundred makes a profit of 11 million pounds a season. But the criticism of squeezing the tournament into an already congested schedule is true. The workload of players would become a concern for the ECB. The conventional supporters of English cricket are against the Hundred because it reduces the number of counties playing in England. The franchises are amalgamations of more than one county and this disinterests die-hard county supporters. Moreover, the belief that cricket would lose its aesthetic element and become just a leisure event worries them.
International stars featuring in The Hundred
As it is taking place in between the international schedule, most of the international players are on duty. Yet, some of the T20 superstars around the world have aligned to light up the new cricketing spectacle. Mohammed Amir, Imran Tahir, Finn Allen, Mohammed Nabi, Lockie Ferguson, Carlos Brathwaite, Colin Munro, Chris Lynn, Faf du Plessis, Mujeeb-Ur Rahman, Sunil Narine, Colin Ingram, Quinton de Kock, Colin de Grandhomme, D’arcy Short, Jimmy Neesham and Glenn Phillips are the notable international stars featuring in the Men’s Hundred along with current English cricketers.
The Women’s Hundred is packed with an even more exciting international quota of players. Shafali Verma, Erin Burns, Deepthi Sharma, Deandra Dottin, Chloe Tryon, Harmanpreet Kaur, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Jemimah Rodriguez, Laura Wolvaardt, Laura Kimmince, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Dane van Niekerk, Smrithi Mandhana, Stefanie Taylor, Rachel Priest, Heather Graham, Hayley Mathews, and Piepa Cleary are set to be in action this season.
Every format started as an experiment but cricket and its people rarely reject any of them. The Hundred is the brand-new design of the sport and it just might be a matter of time when we witness an international Hundred event.