What is The Hundred? Everything you need to know about ECB’s revolutionary new game including rules, teams and players ahead of launch
After years of debate and delay, The Hundred will finally launch on Wednesday night.
Cricket’s newest format, designed by the ECB to attract a more universal audience, is going to look very different.
With 100 balls per innings and newly-invented, city-based franchises, the result will be two-and-a-half hours of fast-paced entertainment, featuring some of the world’s most thrilling players.
Purists and Test lovers remain unconvinced about the continued ‘dumbing down’ of the sport, pandering to spectators with shorter attention spans – and The Hundred will be on trial throughout its inaugural season.
However, while England is fortunate enough to have a Test audience for now, cricket must think about its future amid dwindling crowds.
Many will ask why the need for something seemingly so similar to T20, although the number of balls is far from the only thing different about The Hundred.
The Hundred: Rules
- Two innings of 100 balls, which should last 65-minutes each
- Methods of run-scoring and dismissal stay the same
- Overs are five balls instead of six and the fielding side switches ends every ten deliveries
- Bowlers can bowl five or ten balls in a row, with a maximum of 20 deliveries per innings
- The Powerplay lasts for the first 25 balls, after which the fielding team can call a quick tactical timeout
- If the fielding team overruns their 65 minutes, a fielder must be taken from outside ring and placed inside
- Each team gets one unsuccessful DRS review per innings
- There are eight teams and they play eight matches each
- Two points for a win, one point for a tie/no result and zero points for a loss.
- Whoever finishes top of the group goes straight to the final. Second and third will face off in the ‘Eliminator’, with the winner progressing to the final.
A pot of 120 players were drafted into eight squads of 15 last year, each featuring one centrally-contracted England Test player and a maximum of three overseas stars.
While the ECB has confirmed England players selected for the India Test series will be available for the opening two rounds of The Hundred, a number of overseas stars have been forced to pull out due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Those include Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner and Ellyse Perry.
The Hundred: Teams
- 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 (Sophia Gardens)
However, cricket’s biggest stars will still be on show in front of packed out crowds, after the ECB delayed the inaugural season by a year instead of playing it out behind closed doors.
Those without a ticket or the various sport subscriptions will also be able to consume The Hundred live on terrestrial television, with the BBC sharing the rights alongside Sky Sports.
It all kicks off tonight as Oval Invincibles take on Manchester Originals at 6pm.
And with the ECB placing equal emphasis on both the men and the women’s game, the girls get us under way.