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  • Writer's pictureKIBI Sports

Cricket’s fourth format ready to take off in England - The Hundred

With a dearth in revenues only exacerbated by the pandemic, the county game might seem ripe for change. Yet this is a project first dreamed up five years ago and if it succeeds, it will attract a new wave of spectators who were hitherto unmoved by afternoon teas and sweaters.

The potential upsides are numerous. The Hundred seeks to increase participation, promote women’s cricket and diversify the ECB’s incomes, previously too reliant on international matches.

The party line is that cricket is changing, but it’s staying the same. The basic principles of the game will remain intact – whoever scores the most runs, wins – with the biggest difference being that each team gets just 100 balls per innings (20 fewer than in a T20). That means it will all squeeze into a two-and-a-half-hour window before everyone can go home.

Instead of counting overs, the 100 balls will be counted down one by one on the scoreboard. So in theory, there are no “overs” at all. The traditional six-ball over has been dispensed with and there will now be 10 lots of 10 balls – and the bowler will still change ends after each set.

What is The Hundred? What are the rules? What are the teams that will be competing? Which players are involved? How and where can I watch it? Read on below for our essential guide to the new 100-ball competition.

The new 100-ball competition launched by the England and Wales Cricket Board aims to make cricket accessible for the whole family through shorter, faster matches that last less than three hours, fusing high-energy entertainment with fast-paced sporting action.

Let's see what are the rules?

* A bowler can bowl up to four ‘fives’.

* The first 25 balls in each innings will be a Powerplay, where only two fielders are allowed to be stationed outside the inner ring.

* In The Hundred, no-balls are worth two runs, followed by a free-hit.

* A fielding captain can station a maximum of up to five fielders on the leg-side.

* If a fielding team doesn’t finish its quota within the allotted time, they will have to bring an extra fielder inside the ring till the time they end the innings.

* Unlike in a T20 game, the non-striker does not take strike even if he has crossed during a dismissal.

* An amended Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, which will look at the number of balls and not overs during rain-hit games.

* In case of a tie in the group stage, both teams will earn one point each.

* If it’s a tie in the knockout stage, a ‘Super Five’ tie-breaker will be used. If the second Super Five is also tied, the team that finished higher on the ladder during the group stage will progress.

The Hundred is termed gimmicky and unwelcome addition to an already congested calendar. The ECB has also received considerable flak for downplaying the intelligence of their target audience —“mums and kids” — by suggesting that conventional cricket was too complicated a sport for them to understand. Critics have also labeled it an “attempt to reduce the number of counties by stealth.”

There are no Indians from the men’s team in The Hundred’s draft because the Board of Control for Cricket in India does not allow them to participate in overseas franchise events. However, five women cricketers will be participating in this competition. They include Shafali Verma, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, and Deepti Sharma.


Aside from the opening day and the final, men's and women’s fixtures of the same franchise will take place on the same date – so the below fixtures apply to both.

  • 21 July, Oval Invincibles v Manchester Originals (women’s), Kia Oval

  • 22 July, Oval Invincibles v Manchester Originals (men’s), Kia Oval

  • 23 July, Birmingham Phoenix v London Spirit, Edgbaston

  • 24 July, Trent Rockets v Southern Brave, Trent Bridge; Northern Superchargers v Welsh Fire, Emerald Headingley

  • 25 July, London Spirit v Oval Invincibles, Lord’s; Manchester Originals v Birmingham Phoenix, Emirates Old Trafford

  • 26 July, Trent Rockets v Northern Superchargers, Trent Bridge

  • 27 July, Welsh Fire v Southern Brave, Sophia Gardens

  • 28 July, Manchester Originals v Northern Superchargers, Emirates Old Trafford

  • 29 July, London Spirit v Trent Rockets, Lord’s

  • 30 July, Southern Brave v Birmingham Phoenix, Ageas Bowl

  • 31 July, Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals, Sophia Gardens; Northern Superchargers v Oval Invincibles, Emerald Headingley

  • 01 August, Birmingham Phoenix v Trent Rockets, Edgbaston; London Spirit v Southern Brave, Lord’s

  • 02 August, Oval Invincibles v Welsh Fire, Kia Oval

  • 03 August, London Spirit v Northern Superchargers, Lord’s

  • 04 August, Birmingham Phoenix v Oval Invincibles, Edgbaston

  • 05 August, Manchester Originals v Southern Brave, Emirates Old Trafford

  • 06 August, Welsh Fire v Trent Rockets, Sophia Gardens

  • 07 August, Southern Brave v Northern Superchargers, Ageas Bowl

  • 08 August, Oval Invincibles v Trent Rockets, Kia Oval

  • 09 August, Birmingham Phoenix v Welsh Fire, Edgbaston

  • 10 August, Manchester Originals v London Spirit, Emirates Old Trafford

  • 11 August, Southern Brave v Welsh Fire, Ageas Bowl

  • 12 August, Northern Superchargers v Manchester Originals, Emerald Headingley

  • 13 August, Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix, Trent Bridge

  • 14 August, Oval Invincibles v London Spirit, Kia Oval

  • 15 August, Trent Rockets v Manchester Originals, Trent Bridge

  • 16 August, Southern Brave v Oval Invincibles, Ageas Bowl

  • 17 August, Northern Superchargers v Birmingham Phoenix, Emerald Headingley

  • 18 August, Welsh Fire v London Spirit, Sophia Gardens

The ECB has confirmed that players picked for the first two men's Test matches against India will be available for the first two rounds of The Hundred.

Player availability for the eliminator and final - which take place between the second and third Tests - will be revealed in due course.


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