The ECB have this morning confirmed that the Women’s Hundred teams will be based at different venues to their male counterparts, in an effort to further grow the game outside of the 8 stadia where the men will be playing.
The women’s teams will play one double-header per season alongside the men but otherwise will play at smaller grounds, as follows:
|MEN’S VENUE||PAIRED WOMEN’S VENUE(S)|
|Sophia Gardens||The Bristol County Ground|
|The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton|
|Edgbaston||Blackfinch New Road, Worcester|
|Emerald Headingley||York CC|
|South Northumberland CC|
|Lord’s||The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford|
|The County Ground, Northampton|
|Kia Oval||The County Ground, Beckenham|
|Emirates Old Trafford||TBC|
|Trent Bridge||The Pattonair County Cricket Ground, Derby|
|The Fischer County Ground, Leicester|
|Ageas Bowl||The 1st Central County Ground, Hove|
This makes sense in the context of the ECB’s strategy of playing England matches at smaller grounds like Chelmsford and Hove which are more likely to fill up. It is also good news for counties like Somerset and Kent, who both lost out in the “bidding” process to run a Hundred franchise, but will this way be represented in the competition by virtue of hosting a women’s side.
However, some of the grounds on the list do not have the capacity to host broadcast facilities, thus confirming that at least some of the matches in the Women’s Hundred will not be televised.
In addition, the ECB have also confirmed that there will NOT be a draft for the women’s competition, but that players will be selected in a two-phase process.
Initially, between September 1 and September 30, each team will sign two centrally contracted England players. Then, between October 1 and May 30, teams will sign their remaining 13 players from across three different player pools – the remaining England Women’s centrally contracted players, overseas players and domestic players.
Each team can sign a maximum of 3 overseas players.
The player selection process is therefore already underway: CRICKETher understands that several England players have already been approached with offers. The first signings should be announced in the next few weeks.