Starting next week, a brand-new Tournament will be launched after a troubled build up. The Hundred will commence On Wednesday 21st July with a double header at the Kia Oval.
The ECB are banking on The Hundred drawing in a new audience. Seven cities with eight teams and 100 balls each side. The Hundred will run for five weeks over the school holidays with each match lasting two and a half hours.
A totally different cricket format
There will be ten lots of ten balls from each end. The captains will choose whether a bowler bowls five balls or all ten in a row. The bowlers can bowl a maximum of 20 balls per innings. They can also bowl two five ball overs in a row, either from the same end or alternative ends.
The fielding side will be allowed a two-minute time out, with the head coach allowed on the field to talk tactics. There will also be a 25 ball powerplay when only two fielders will be allowed outside the circle.
Another variation from the normal game of cricket will see umpires call five at the end of the over instead of over.
All eight sides will be city based
The eight teams, which are all city based will play each other home and away in the group round. The team finishing top will qualify for the final with the sides in second and third playing an eliminator for the other place.
Each squad will be allowed 16 players with three from overseas. However, the tournament has already been dealt a huge blow with some players withdrawing. There are no Indian players in the men’s competition, but five will feature in the women’s event.
The Hundred has already been stripped of quality players with the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc all pulling out. Also withdrawing recently was Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Kane Williamson and Shaheen Afridi mainly to avoid covid quarantine.
Earlier this week Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Wahab Riaz also had to withdraw from the tournament. However, there are still plenty of big-name players who have signed up for the summer event. Rashid Khan, Quinton de Kock along with England’s Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan and Adil Rashid have all given The Hundred their full backing.
Eight sides in seven cities
The eight teams involved are: Birmingham Phoenix, London Spirit, Manchester Originals, Northern Superchargers, Oval Invincibles, Southern Brave, Trent Rockets and Welsh Fire.
There has already been a lot of negative reaction about the competition before a ball has been bowled. The ECB are banking on this being a big success with the game bringing new followers into the sport.
It has come in for a lot of criticism from the vast lovers of cricket, mainly from traditionalists. The same reaction happened before the T20 was introduced many years ago. But the doubters have been proved wrong in big numbers. For the sake of the game let’s hope exactly the same will apply to The Hundred.