Why The Hundred tournament is set to make sporting history when it launches in July

The Hundred will make history in its opening fixture this summer as it launches with a women’s match.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 7:00 am
The Hundred will begin at the Kia Oval on July 21 with a women's game between the Oval Invincibles and the Manchester Originals. Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images for ECB)

The ECB’s controversial 100-ball competition – designed to open cricket up to more families and youngsters - will start with Oval Invincibles hosting Manchester Originals at the Kia Oval on Wednesday, July 21, before the same two men’s sides follow suit the following day.

It will be the first time a major UK team sporting event has launched men’s and women’s competitions alongside each other and headlined with a women’s match, which will be televised live on Sky and BBC.

The Southern Brave’s first games will be against the Trent Rockets in Nottingham three days later.

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Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s competition, said: ‘Opening The Hundred with a standalone women’s match represents a historic moment, not just for cricket and women’s cricket, but more widely for sport.

‘We are really proud to be able to make this announcement, and I cannot wait to see our brilliant female players walk out at the Kia Oval on July 21.

‘The schedule really epitomises how The Hundred is changing the game – putting gender-balance at its heart and presenting men and women on the same platform, with the same scale of ambition from the very start.’

The Hundred features eight franchises, including the Southern Brave based at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl. The others are based in London (x 2), Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham.

Most of the players have already been signed up but the remaining 35 slots in the men's squads - seven overseas and 28 domestic players - will be filled at today’s player auction.

So far, West Indies legend Stefanie Taylor and Kiwi Amelia Kerr have signed for the Brave's women's team along with England centrally contracted pair Danni Wyatt and Anya Shrubsole.

The entire competition, including all men’s and women’s games, will be broadcast live on Sky. The Hundred will also be covered extensively across the BBC, including live television coverage of 10 men’s games and up to eight live women’s matches, including the final and the women’s opening game.

After the opening two matches, the rest of the schedule will see the men’s and women’s teams both playing on the same day and at the same venue – including eight matches in total at The Ageas Bowl.

The teams finishing second and third in the league stage will meet each other at the Kia Oval in the Eliminator on Friday, August 20 to compete for a place in the final against the league winners.

Both the men’s and women’s finals will take place the following day at Lord’s.

Full list of Southern Brave fixtures (both men’s and women’s matches unless stated)

July

24 Trent Rockets, Trent Bridge

27 Welsh Fire, Sophia Gardens

30 Birmingham Phoenix, Ageas Bowl

August

1 London Spirit, Lord’s

5 Manchester Originals, Emirates Old Trafford

7 Northern Superchargers, Ageas Bowl

11 Welsh Fire, Ageas Bowl

16 Oval Invincibles, Ageas Bowl

20 Women's and Men's Eliminator, Kia Oval

21 Men's and Women's Finals, Lord’s

Tickets for The Hundred will go on sale to those signed up at www.thehundred.com through a priority window on April 7, with general sale beginning on April 21. Prices for U16s are £5 with adult tickets starting at £10 for two games (women’s and men’s match) while children under five are free. Refund policies will be in place if matches are impacted by Covid.