All you need to know about the Hundred

The Hundred is a new cricket format which is set to launch in the summer of 2021.

Enjoyed by players and spectators in almost every continent, cricket is one of the most watched sports in the world. Cricket has been a popular sport in many countries around the world for centuries. But, in recent decades, cricket organisations, such as the International Cricket Council (ICC), have tried to improve the sport’s entertainment for viewers. First was the invention of one day international (ODI) cricket in 1971. Then, more recently, Twenty 20 cricket was invented in 2008. 

Since 2008, individual countries have created tournaments and competitions, complete with bright lights, booming soundtracks and fast paced entertainment to engage spectators. But, in 2021, English cricket will go one step further as a new style of cricket launches. 

Say goodbye to the traditional six overs in cricket. Say hello to the Hundred.

What is the Hundred?

The Hundred is a new cricket format, created by the England Cricket Board (ECB), which is set to launch in the summer of 2021. Eight teams will compete from seven cities across England in this entirely new competition. 

So what is different about the Hundred compared to ODI, Twenty 20 or test cricket?

  • 5 or 10 ball overs instead of six.
  • Bowlers can bowl 20 deliveries per innings.
  • One timeout is allowed for the bowling team. This can be taken at any time during the innings and will last for 150 seconds. 
  • 25 ball power plays, where only two players are allowed outside the 30-yard circle. 
  • General rules remain the same (scoring runs, boundaries, no balls, wickets)

Why did the ECB create the Hundred? 

The ECB has many reasons for creating the Hundred. The governing body decided to launch the new cricket competition to engage younger people in England, to get more people involved with the sport and to develop talented young players alongside some of the country’s best players. Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have committed to different teams, while overseas players, such as Pakistan quick bowler, Mohammad Amir, will also participate. 

Will the Hundred be a Success?

There has been a mixed response to the idea of the Hundred. Some believe it was not necessary for the ECB to create a new format of cricket in England, while others have backed the contest as a key part of cricket’s success in the future. 

There has been a mixed response to the idea of the Hundred

It could attract people who aren’t involved in cricket to watch due to its shorter format

Former England player and director of England cricket, Andrew Strauss, said the format would attract fans who currently aren’t interested in cricket. He also feels the Hundred will follow the popularity of Twenty 20 cricket, which struggled with popularity in its first few years. 

England ODI captain, Eoin Morgan, also agreed, saying it could attract people who aren’t involved in cricket to watch due to its shorter format.

However, some opposition to the Hundred has come from cricket fans. The popular magazine, the Cricketer, asked its readers how they felt about the Hundred and, out of nearly 3000 responses, 84% of people opposed the new format. 

More opposition has come from social media, with accounts like Oppose the Hundred and Love Cricket, Hate the Hundred, providing reasons why the ECB should support other cricket formats, before starting an entirely new one. 

While there are pros and cons to the Hundred, until it launches this summer, it’s difficult to see whether it will be a success or not. However, if it follows Twenty 20 cricket, it could be a few years before the popularity of the Hundred grows in England.

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