The Hundred to make history with women’s cricket taking centre stage when new tournament begins

1 week ago 9

The inaugural edition of The Hundred will make history when the tournament headlines with a standalone women's match. The Manchester Originals will take on the Oval Invincibles at the Kia Oval on 21 July, before the same two men's sides face each other 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 opened with a women's match – which will be one of the fixtures televised live on Sky and the BBC.

The tournament was postponed from 2020 to 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with the England and Wales Cricket Board deciding the likelihood of empty stadiums and travelling problems for overseas stars made last summer's launch unviable.

The entire competition will be broadcast live on Sky, with the tournament also due to be covered by the BBC – including live television coverage of 10 men's games and up to eight women's games, including the final.

After the initial staggered launch, the schedule will see both men's and women's teams playing on the same day, at the same venue. That represents a diversion from the plan for last season's tournament, which saw the men and women play most matches separately and at different venues.

The plan for the 2020 launch saw the women's final day scheduled for Hove, while the men's showpiece was due to take place at Lord's. However, this season, both finals will take place on the same day at the 'home of cricket' on 21 August.

The teams finishing second and third in the league stage will meet at the Kia Oval in an eliminator on 20 August, with a place in the final against the league winners up for grabs.

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The England and Wales Cricket Board is keen to build on cricket's existing fan base, with a particular emphasis on bringing women and families into the fold, so the tournament has been scheduled for the school summer holidays.

The group stage will take place between 21 July and 18 August, before a two-day gap ahead of the final stages.

PA

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