The ECB have announced that next year’s inaugural Women’s Hundred will be played at the same 8 venues as the men’s competition – side-lining places like Taunton and Hove, in favour of Sofia Gardens in Cardiff, and The Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Although the ECB haven’t quite said so, it now also looks likely that many more of the matches will be “Double Headers” with the men’s teams.
Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition Beth Barrett-Wild said:
“It’s clear that the wide ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of elite sporting events and society more generally, necessitates a change to our plans from 2020.”
“The move to an integrated eight-venue model with the Men’s Competition next summer will simultaneously enable us to reduce our operational risk, protect the delivery of the Women’s Competition, and optimise the opportunity to work with our broadcast partners to provide maximum visibility and exposure for the women’s game.”
Although this will be disappointing news for fans in some parts of the country, one up-side is that it does mean we will almost certainly get live-streams (or Sky TV coverage) of every game, with the necessary infrastructure already in place at all the big grounds.
The situation will be reviewed following next year’s competition, with the ECB leaving the door open to a return to the original venues in 2022.