Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, with an estimated two billion people from all over the globe fans or players of the game. However, there’s always room for improvement, which is why organizing bodies are constantly seeking ways to inject more excitement into proceedings and attract new fans.
One such avenue of interest is ‘The Hundred’, which is set to make its inaugural appearance on the cricketing calendar later this year. The brainchild of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the tournament is set to feature eight teams from seven cities across the UK, involving over hundreds of the best male and female cricketers from all over the planet.
What is The Hundred?
The Hundred is a brand new 100-ball cricket competition which is set to take place over five weeks each summer. Eight teams of 15 of the best players from all over the world will do battle to crown an ultimate victor, with men’s and women’s competitions running concurrently.
Who is competing?
Rather than featuring existing teams, The Hundred will witness the formation of eight completely new squads for both men and women (so 16 teams in total). The locations and names of the teams have already been decided:
- Birmingham Phoenix, playing at Edgbaston
- London Spirit, playing at Lord’s
- Manchester Originals, playing at Emirates Old Trafford
- Northern Superchargers, playing at Emerald Headingley
- Oval Invincibles, playing at Kio Oval
- Southern Brave, playing at Ageas Bowl
- Trent Rockets, playing at Trent Bridge
- Welsh Fire, playing at Sophia Gardens
The fact that all of these teams are entirely new and will consist of players hand-picked by their coaches in a draft means that the field is wide open and anyone can emerge as the winner. That makes the tournament especially exciting for visitors to sites like Comeon sports, where they can enjoy competitive gambling odds for all the candidates.
How were the teams picked?
The squads of each team have been picked via the use of a complicated draft system. Each squad is headed up by one England-contracted player, two “Local Icons” and 12 draft-picked players, with a maximum of three of those allowed to come from overseas. As such, it will be a largely domestic affair.
The draft picks were made by each team’s head coach, who were randomly assigned a number from one to eight at the beginning of proceedings. They then made their first round (highest salaried) selections in this order, before reversing the order for the second round of picks. This process continued until each squad finished with 15 players.
When will The Hundred take place?
Although originally scheduled to take place last summer, the inaugural tournament of The Hundred was pushed back to the summer of 2021. Now, the first fixture of the competition (Oval Invincibles vs Manchester Originals) is due to kick off on Wednesday the 21st July, with the whole extravaganza playing out over the following five weeks. The final is currently earmarked for 18.30 BST on Saturday 21st August at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.