All You Need to Know About ‘The Hundred’ – ECB’s New Brainchild

We know it's cricket, yet we know it’s not quite the cricket we played in our backyards or schools.

The new 100-ball competition, a brainchild of the England Cricket Board, named 'The Hundred', aims to give the game a wider reach, and to attract newer audience.

"The Hundred will help cricket to reach more people. This new competition will help us to meet the ambitions of our game-wide strategy for 2020-24," ECB Chief Executive, Tom Harrison, said at the time the league was launched.

Before we go into the intricacies, it is imperative that you understand this new format, which is vastly different from the others cricket proudly present before the crowds now.

What's The Hundred and Why Is It Different?

Let's be upfront about this.

The Hundred clearly isn't cricket and has a promising claim to become a new sport by itself. But since it's played with the basic set of rules that we associate with cricket and since it involves cricket players we know and adore, this comes under the cricket bracket.

But the rules are different and if you don't know them yet, it's time you know it because like it or not, The Hundred is here and as much as we detested Twenty20s at first, this format for all we know, could be the future.

The Format
  • Instead of a set number of overs (a concept that is almost redundant in this format), we play 100 balls per innings.
  • There is an over change, rather a change of ends after every 10 balls.
  • A bowler does not bowl an over, instead he bowls sets of five or 10 consecutive balls, depending on what the captain wants.
  • A bowler’s limit in a game is a maximum of 20 balls.
  • The one thing that's survived the test of time from the IPL is the ‘strategic timeout’ – a two and a half minute break.
  • There's a powerplay but it lasts 25 balls and is at the start of an innings. Only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle during this phase of play.
When is it Starting?

The competition is set to be played in the summer of 2020 over a five-week period.

The inaugural draft for the league was completed this week and many of the promising T20 mercenaries have put their hats in the ring for this new format.

The main draft is set to be held on 20 October and includes players from 11 different countries.

Which Teams are Playing?

There are eight teams in the league, and each will be sporting a flashy name. The venues are Ageas Bowl, Cardiffz Edgbaston, Headingley, Lord's, Old Trafford, The Oval and Trent Bridge.

The team names are as follows: Southern Brave, Welsh Fire, Birmingham Phoenix, Northern Superchargers, London Spirit, Manchester Originals, Oval Invincibles and the Trent Rockets.

What are the Draft Rules?

According to the draft rules, each team can sport one Test player from its particular catchment area – a phrase used to represent the group of regions the franchise will be based upon. For instance, Cardiff's catchment area will involve Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

The Test players who miss out will automatically move towards their particular catchment areas. The all-format players will earn £50,000 while the red-ball contracted players will earn £35,000. The trick here is that there is a Test series to be played around the same time which means that most England red ball players won't be available except for the first three games.

Each team also has local icon players like with the IPL. But instead of one, there will be two icon players. Again, this is not a mandate and is at the discretion of the teams. Once the selection is agreed upon by both the player and the team, his name won't come up in the draft and the franchise's turn will be skipped at the particular round. Overseas players cannot be part of this process.

There is a women's version of The Hundred, too, with the negotiation terms largely based between the respective players and teams. In the initial draft, each team had to sign two women players from the current central contracted list. There's another round for this which runs from 1 October till 30 May and the remaining central contracted players can be picked then.

Who All Are Playing in The Hundred?

The initial list of overseas stars for The Hundred was announced last week and includes some very familiar, popular names. Based on the reserve price set, the players are:

  • £125,000 - Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc and David Warner, Quinton de Kock, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Lasith Malinga, Chris Gayle.
  • £100,000 - Harbhajan, Andre Russell, Glenn Maxwell, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shahid Afridi, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard.
  • £75,000 - Dale Steyn, Babar, Marcus Stoinis, Mohammad Hafeez.
  • £60,000 - Nicholas Pooran, Martin Guptill, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi and a few others.

The £50,000 and £40,000 brackets have international players including Thisara Perera, Lendl Simmons, Shimron Hetmyer etc.

As many as 67 players have not set a reserve price at all and could go for £30,000.

What’s the News After Phase One?

After phase one of The Hundred draft, the teams have picked up five players each – three men and two women cricketers.

  • Birmingham Phoenix
    : Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Pat Brown
    Women: Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon
  • London Spirit
    : Rory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Eoin Morgan
    Women: Heather Knight, Freya Davies
  • Manchester Originals
    : Jos Buttler, Saqid Mahmood, Matt Parkinson
    Women: Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone
  • Northern Superchargers
    : Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey
    Women: Lauren Winfield, Linsey Smith
  • Oval Invincibles
    : Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Jason Roy
    Women: Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson
  • Southern Brave
    : Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, James Vince
    Women: Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt
  • Trent Rockets
    : Joe Root, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales
    Women: Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt
  • Welsh Fire
    : Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Colin Ingram
    Women: Katie George, Bryony Smith
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