The Cricketer gives you all the lowdown of the new tournament kicking off on July 21
What is it?
The first edition of The Hundred, the new 100-ball competition introduced by the ECB.
Where is it?
The competition is being played across eight different venues across England and Wales: with each team having their own home ground.
Manchester Originals– Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
Northern Superchargers – Emerald Headingley, Leeds
Birmingham Phoenix – Edgbaston, Birmingham
Trent Rockets – Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Welsh Fire – Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
London Spirit – Lord’s, St Johns’ Wood, London
Oval Invincibles – The Oval, Kennington, London
Southern Brave – Rose Bowl, Hampshire
When is it?
The first match, a women’s fixture between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals, is Wednesday 21 July. The men’s side will meet 24 hours later, but every following matchday will then be in the form of a “double header”: with the women’s side playing first, followed by the men’s on the same day.
The tournament will come to a head on August 20 and 21, with the Eliminator and Final held on those respective dates.
What are the fixtures?
The full men’s fixture list can be found here, and the women’s schedule here.
Who are the star players?
The original player draft, which took place in November 2019, saw a number of players of varying price brackets assigned to the teams. Since the postponement due to the pandemic, some of the original selections have been retained, while others had to withdraw due to various reasons, including COVID-related complications, international commitments and injuries.
There is no shortage of domestic English talent taking part in The Hundred. Test skipper Joe Root will play for Trent Rockets, while Ben Stokes plies his trade with Northern Superchargers. There will be further emphasis on the performance of the domestic stars due to the late withdrawals, including stars such as David Warner, Andre Russell and Elysse Perry.
That’s not to say that there is now a lack of international talent. Manchester Originals boast Lockie Ferguson, Carlos Brathwaite and Harmenpreet Kaur among their ranks, while Northern Superchargers have recruited Mujeeb ur Ruhman, Faf du Plessis and Laura Kimmince.
Other foreign players include Colin de Grandhomme, Rashid Khan, Dane van Niekerk and Mohammad Amir. Although there are fewer overseas players than were touted before the pandemic, there’s still plenty of scope for fans to catch the best of both local upcoming talent and stars from around the globe.
You can explore the full squad lists here.
Eoin Morgan captains London Spirit, while Kate Cross plays with the Originals
What are the key rule and format differences?
This is where things could start to get confusing, and where some controversy originally arose after the format was announced.
As the name suggests, innings are 100 balls per team.
Each bowler can deliver up to 20 balls in an innings. However, bowler changes occur after every fifth or 10th ball: at the captain of the fielding side’s discretion. Batters change ends every 10 balls.
The bowling side can call a two-and-a-half minute timeout once per innings, in which the coach can take to the field.
The first 25 balls of each innings is the powerplay – during which the fielding side can only have two fielders outside the circle.
Every team will face each opponent once, with the exception of a designated ‘rival’ team, against whom they will place twice (London Spirit and Oval Invincibles will go head-to-head both home and away, for example).
What are the ticketing details?
The ECB have braced for full attendance at this tournament after the lifting of the last COVID-19 restrictions in the UK. Tickets remain available for games during the group phase, with matches at Lord’s and The Oval the fastest selling. The final, which is also at Lord’s, is sold out. The men’s curtain raiser between the Invincibles and the Originals is also fully booked.
The Hundred have aimed to make tickets available at an affordable fan price, with adult seats starting at £16 in the group phase. 6-15 year olds can attend for just £5 in all seating categories, while children under five go free.
You can check the latest ticketing availablity on The Hundred’s ticketing portal.
Unlike most domestic cricket during COVID restrictions in the UK, fans attending the matches will not have to present a negative test or proof of vaccination to enter.
Who do the odds favour?
The bookmakers haven’t got an overwhelming favourite, but Southern Brave have the shortest odds with SkyBet at 4/1, with the Invicibles and the Fire just behind at 11/2. Birmingham Phoenix and Northern Superchargers have the longest odds at 7/1.
Where can you follow it?
All 68 games are to be shown live on Sky Sports, on their new dedicated channel Sky Sports The Hundred, in the UK.
There will be plenty of ways for non-Sky customers to follow The Hundred for free. Ten men’s games, including the final, are to be shown free-to-air on BBC Two, and eight women’s games.
All 34 of the women’s games are to be shown on Sky Sports’ YouTube for free.
The ECB recently struck a deal with rapidly rising streaming company FanCode for exclusive streaming rights – making that the go-to service for viewers in India.
You can see which games are to be shown live on the BBC here.
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