By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
A new cricket competition is being launched, known as ‘The Hundred’. But will it score runs and widen the appeal of the game? Presumably, as intended.
It is a 100-ball competition that will commence July of this year and will feature world-class players from around the world.
Eight new city-based men’s and women’s teams will compete for five weeks. And will be broadcast on Sky Sports and the BBC.
Each team will be formed of a men’s and women’s squad of 15 players with a maximum of three overseas’ ‘stars’.
Men’s teams will be selected by a draft system and the women’s teams by their own particular player selection process.
The eight new teams, which have been created, with their grounds, are as follows:
- Birmingham Phoenix (Edgbaston)
- London Spirit (Lord’s)
- Manchester Originals (Emirates Old Trafford)
- Northern Superchargers (Emerald Headingley)
- Oval Invincibles (Kia Oval)
- Southern Brave (Ageas Bowl)
- Trent Rockets (Trent Bridge)
- Welsh Fire (Sofia Gardens)
There will be no overs and the players will be known as ‘batters’ and there will no wickets but ‘outs’!
For more information, log onto https://www.thehundred.com/info/what-is-the-hundred.
It will be interesting to see what effect the new competition has on traditional cricket fans and also on other formats of the game, especially the popular Twenty20 format and, in particular, the highly successful Indian Premier League.
One cricket enthusiast, who is a Member of Lord’s, has remarked as follows:
“I guess that there will be fewer teams than in the domestic T20 competition and they are independent of the County Teams, so presumably it means that the new competition will only feature the very best players. I do not know what rules apply to the new competition, but matches will be 16% shorter than T20, so over relatively quickly. Whether there is space in the market, I do not know, but if it takes funds away from the Counties then that is a very bad thing. The First-Class Counties are the bedrock and the cradle and nursery of cricket in the UK, but they already struggle for funds.”
So, the jury is out on this new cricket competition and, as they say in English, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating!’
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’