The Hundred: Cricket fast-paced tournament
The Hundred is an attempt by English cricket to broaden its appeal by targeting a younger, more varied audience.
London Spirit, Oval Invincibles, Southern Brave, Welsh Fire, Birmingham Phoenix, Trent Rockets, Manchester Originals, and Northern Superchargers are the eight city-based clubs that have been formed, each with two squads of 15 domestic and foreign players-one men’s and one women’s.
The Withdrawal of High Profile International Players
Several high-profile international players have withdrawn from the tournament, largely due to travel concerns during the Covid-19 outbreak, although it will still feature many of the finest players in the world.
All of England’s men’s squad, including captain Heather Knight and world number one bowler Sophie Ecclestone, are expected to play throughout, as are the 2019 World Cup champions Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, and Adil Rashid.
Why has it caused such a conflict in opinion?
The competition does not come without its critics.
Many say that adding a fourth format is an expensive gamble and that it was unnecessary given the popularity of Twenty20 cricket.
However, the salary gap between male and female players has been criticized; female players’ contracts are worth between £3,600 and£15,000, while male players’ contracts are worth between £24,000 and £100,000.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph published earlier this week, the ECB first ignored appeals for assistance from female part-time players whose ability to work might be harmed during the tour.
Critics also make an argument. The Hundred devalues the long-established county game, with the domestic 50-over competition-the format in which England is now world champion in both men’s and women’s cricket-running concurrently without its finest players.
Fans of established county teams have complained that they don’t have a team to cheer for, while others have speculated that the competition will exclude the 10 first-class counties.
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s chief executive, Tom Harrison, said English cricket would be in a “scary” position without the cash boost he thinks The Hundred will provide.
“I hope individuals who don’t get the chance to play cricket will acquire a passion for it,” Harrison remarked.
“For cricket lovers, I think you will find a place, even if it is hugely reluctant.”