In Depth

Why everyone’s talking about The Hundred cricket competition

Steve Smith and Chris Gayle will feature in the player draft on 20 October

The team names and the first batch of players have been announced for The Hundred, English cricket’s new 100-ball tournament, which launches next summer.

Taking place from 17 July to 16 August 2020, eight new city-based teams will compete in the men’s and women’s competitions.

In early October the first 40 players - England stars and local icons - were allocated to the eight teams. Then on Sunday 20 October The Hundred will make history by becoming the first British sport to hold a player draft.

The Hundred men’s player draft will be shown live on Sky Sports from 7pm to 9.30pm and players available include Australia star Steve Smith and West Indies icon Chris Gayle.

England’s Cricket World Cup star Ben Stokes will play for Leeds-based Northern Superchargers and England Test captain Joe Root will play for Trent Rockets in Nottingham.

The Hundred: teams, grounds and allocated players

Birmingham Phoenix 
  • Home grounds: Edgbaston, Blackfinch New Road
  • Men’s players: Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Pat Brown  
  • Women’s players: Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon 
London Spirit
  • Home grounds: Lord’s, The CloudFM County Ground, The County Ground
  • Men’s players: Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Eoin Morgan  
  • Women’s players: Heather Knight, Freya Davies 
Manchester Originals
  • Home grounds: Emirates Old Trafford
  • Men’s players: Jos Buttler, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson  
  • Women’s players: Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone 
Northern Superchargers
  • Home grounds: Emerald Headingley, South Northumberland, York CC
  • Men’s players: Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey  
  • Women’s players: Lauren Winfield, Linsey Smith 
Oval Invincibles
  • Home grounds: Kia Oval, The County Ground Beckenham
  • Men’s players: Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jason Roy  
  • Women’s players: Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson 
Southern Brave
  • Home grounds: Ageas Bowl, The First Central County Ground
  • Men’s players: Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, James Vince  
  • Women’s players: Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt 
Trent Rockets
  • Home grounds: Trent Bridge, The Fischer County Ground, The Pattonair County Cricket Ground
  • Men’s players: Joe Root, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales  
  • Women’s players: Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt 
Welsh Fire
  • Home grounds: Sophia Gardens, The Bristol County Ground, The Cooper Associates County Ground
  • Men’s players: Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Colin Ingram  
  • Women’s players: Katie George, Bryony Smith

The Hundred: how it works

When does it start?

The new men’s and women’s competition will be played over five weeks from 17 July to 16 August 2020. 

How does the men’s player draft work?

Squads will have 15 players formed of domestic and overseas players and the remaining places will be filled at the draft on 20 October.

Teams can select a maximum of three overseas players and there is no limit to the number of cricketers selected from any county or country.

According to thehundred.com, before the draft is held a draw will take place to determine the order in which teams can pick players. 

  • Teams pick in the order they were drawn
  • The team drawn first will select first in the opening round. Last in the second round. So on through 14 rounds
  • Each team will have a maximum of 100 seconds for each player selection
  • If a local “icon” player is pre-selected, the team will skip that turn in The Hundred draft

After the draft is held each team will have the chance to make a “wildcard” pick, which will be chosen during the 2020 Vitality Blast.

What about the women’s teams?

There is a two-stage open-market system for picking the eight women’s teams. Stage one of the process took place from 1 to 30 September and the second stage is from 1 October to 30 May 2020. 

With two players already allocated via the England Women’s central contract list, the remaining 13 places will be filled via three different player pools: the remaining England centrally-contracted players, overseas players and domestic players.

How does The Hundred tournament work?

Each team will face 100 balls in their innings. Ten-ball overs will mean the bowlers will change ends ten times during the match, instead of 19 times in Twenty20 matches.

An individual bowler will be able to deliver either five or ten consecutive balls with a maximum of 20 per game. The Times reports that there will be only one semi-final. The winners of the league will progress straight to the final.

Where will games be played?

Southampton, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Nottingham will host the eight men’s teams matches. Lord’s and The Oval in London will each host a team. 

How long will matches take?

According to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) fixtures will be completed in less than 2.5 hours.

Will it be shown on TV?

Yes, from 2020-2024, the BBC and Sky Sports will broadcast live matches from the new men’s and women’s domestic tournaments. Games will start at 2.30pm and 6.30pm with eight games live on the BBC and the rest on Sky Sports.

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