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.
When you say an overseas player, do you mean bona fide internationals only or players from overseas franchises who might not have been selected for their country yet?
Interesting question – as the law currently stands, any overseas player from OUTSIDE the EU (EEA???) would not get a visa unless they have played for their country. After 31 October… who knows!
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Would they allow more overseas players in the County t20 championship, or is it still going to just one in the eleven? Or is that competition also up for restructuring. I think Indian players may have played their last matches as the overseas players in England, don’t see BCCI allowing them to participate in The Hundred. I wonder what about the other boards decision in this regard too. Considering Mott is up for coaching gig in The Hundred we can expect Southern Stars to play in the tournament.
Considering Mott is up for coaching gig in The Hundred we can expect Southern Stars to play in the tournament.
There will certainly be some, though whether it will tempt the biggest stars – the Ellyse Perrys and the Meg Lannings – we’ll see…
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This is about the first positive thing I have heard re the Hundred. Usually Essex is deemed covered by putting something on in London, which is a long and expensive trip away. Glad to see Chelmsford included as the England women’s team is always well supported there.
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Whilst it’s good to have a little more meat on the bones at last, there are aspects of this that concern me.
How, for instance, are the ECB intending to market a “London” team to the good folk of Northampton? Or Chelmsford? One of the reasons Western Storm in particular have been so well supported is they identifiable “belong” to the West Country. Many (by no means all) of the players are from that area. Supporters feel it’s genuinely their team. London/Northampton offers precisely none of that.
We are parochial in this country, which may be a good thing or a bad thing, but either way is indisputably true. Taking the example of Northampton again, you have Northampton Town (football), Northampton Saints (Rugby Union) & Northampton CCC (Cricket). Theres a connection there, can you spot it? These things matter. Its possible Northamptoners might travel to Lord’s to watch a London team, but a London team invading their patch…?
Similarly, mention Birmingham to the people of Worcester and that’s where the conversation ends. Birmingham = Warwickshire, simple as that. I can’t foresee this as anything other than a(nother) huge stumbling block for the ECB to overcome.
They may argue that taking the women’s competition to smaller venues has worked for the WBBL, and it has. But that’s taking, say, Sydney Sixers to North Sydney Oval, not to some place in Victoria where everyone supports one of the Melbourne outfits. We dont have the comparable ‘small’ grounds in this country to make it work.
There is a massive lack of logic in some of this, to the extent that one questions whether anybody at the ECB cares. They have taken away a competition that works (but admittedly could be improved on) and have replaced it with one which has numerous flaws and is being bastardised to squeeze into parameters that marry with the men’s game but betray the women’s game, its players and supporters.
Your point is well made but would be even better made by focusing in on Newcastle Upon Type as a venue for …. the women’s equivalent of a Leeds’ based men’s team. Leeds to Newcastle Upon Type is about a 2 hour drive. Northumberland (the pre ‘reorg’ county that Newcastle was in) has no connection with Yorkshire at all. That’ll be an interesting marketing job.
With the way the UK is organised you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t on this. County names make little sense when many of these counties ceased to exist in their current form back in 1974. How many residents of Handsworth or Perry Barr really think of themselves as Warwickshire people? However, once you’ve gone down the route of using city names, you’re up against the problem of city rivalries – why would the people of Liverpool support Manchester, or Leeds/Sheffield, Leicester/Nottingham etc. Also consider that if the Hundred is a success, it wouldn’t make sense to continue with the KSL team names, so for example if Manchester Originals become a big draw, it wouldn’t be the best course of action to continue trying to promote the Lancashire Thunder name. Just glad it’s not me making the decisions about this thing.
Matt Roller made an interesting point on the Cricinfo podcast yesterday. If we have to have the Hundred, why couldn’t the ECB have kept the current structure of KSL and adapted it to the Hundred? The Western Storm have been a huge success but have been abandoned for a franchise in Cardiff. What makes it worse is that anyone whose been to a Glamorgan T20 game will know is that the attendances are absolutely pitiful.
Another question is that does the womens game have enough depth for eight teams? Six team was probably about the right number but now you’ve got to find around 30 new players. While this will provide new opportunities, is there enough talent to fill those gaps?
It was pretty evident what the fans think when they booed when Charles Dagnell mentioned it when interviewing Dani Wyatt (I love the fact she pointed out the booing too!) The ECB want to bring in new fans but what kind of business model is it which alienates your existing fanbase?