What is The Hundred? Rules, teams, fixtures of new 2021 cricket format - when it starts and how to watch on TV

England Test captains Joe Root and Heather Knight will compete in The Hundred
England Test captain Joe Root will be part of the Trent Rockets men's team in The Hundred. (Pic: Getty)England Test captain Joe Root will be part of the Trent Rockets men's team in The Hundred. (Pic: Getty)
England Test captain Joe Root will be part of the Trent Rockets men's team in The Hundred. (Pic: Getty)

The Hundred is almost upon us.

A fresh cricket format will see eight newly formed teams from seven cities compete over the next four weeks in the inaugural 2021 The Hundred.

The competition is completely separate to the county game and white ball formats already played across the country in an attempt to attract new audiences to the sport.

The Hundred at a glance. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)The Hundred at a glance. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)
The Hundred at a glance. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

Officials from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) wanted to make the game easier to understand for newcomers, as well as promote a family friendly environment.

The first tournament, due to be played in 2020, was postponed due to the Covid pandemic, but organisers remain optimistic the competition can go ahead in the summer of 2021.

Here's a rundown of what The Hundred is, competition rules, teams, fixtures, when the action starts - and how to follow it live on TV.

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What is The Hundred?

The Hundred will see two teams compete in a 100-ball-a-side cricket match.

World class cricketers from England and abroad are set to feature in The Hundred, which will see eight new city-based women's and men's teams compete over five weeks of action.

Each team will have a separate women's squad and men's squad, with the two competitions running alongside each other and often fixtures on the same day.

Each cricket match in The Hundred is expected to take no longer than three hours to complete.

What are The Hundred rules?

Each team will bowl and bat using the same instruments as before, with the same types of dismissals also on offer as well as boundaries for the batting side.

It's cricket but in a shorter format of the game.

Each team will have 100 balls to score as many runs as they can with the team which scores the highest amount of runs declared the winner of the match.

Yet, instead of overs (typically six deliveries), there will be a change in ends every 10 balls. Bowlers can deliver five or 10 ball in a row at the captain's discretion.

Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per match.

The fielding side will get a two-and-a-half minute timeout in each game so the coach can discuss tactics with players out in the middle.

And there is a slight change to the PowerPlay, where two fielders are allowed outside of the 30 yard circle, which will be for a duration of 25 balls for each team.

What is The Hundred format?

Each team will play an opposing The Hundred team once either home or away, with the top three placed teams after all the fixtures have been played to advance to the play-offs.

The second placed team will face the third placed team in the semi final, with the winner taking on the top placed group stage team in The Hundred final. This is the same for both women's and men's competitions.

When does The Hundred start?

The Hundred starts on Wednesday 21 July 2021 with a women's match between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals, which will be televised live on the BBC.

A day later, on Thursday 22 July, will see the Oval and Manchester men's teams compete at the same Kia Oval venue. Both matches start at 6.30pm.

The Hundred teams

The Hundred sees eight new teams created for the tournament, to be based at some of the country's best known cricket grounds.

Birmingham Phoenix (Edgbaston)

London Spirit (Lord's)

Manchester Originals (Emirates Old Trafford)

Northern Superchargers (Emerald Headingley)

Oval Invincibles (Kia Oval)

Southern Brave (Ageas Bowl)

Trent Rockets (Trent Bridge)

Welsh Fire (Sophia Gardens)

The Hundred fixtures

21 July: Oval Invincibles v Manchester Originals (women's), Kia Oval (18:30)

22 July: Oval Invincibles v Manchester Originals (men's), Kia Oval (18:30)

23 July: Birmingham Phoenix v London Spirit, Edgbaston (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

24 July: Trent Rockets v Southern Brave, Trent Bridge (women's 11:00, men's 14:30)

24 July: Northern Superchargers v Welsh Fire, Emerald Headingley (women's 14:30, men's 18:00)

25 July: London Spirit v Oval Invincibles, Lord's (women's 11:00, men's 14:30)

25 July: Manchester Originals v Birmingham Phoenix, Emirates Old Trafford (women's 14:30, men's 18:00)

26 July: Trent Rockets v Northern Superchargers, Trent Bridge (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

27 July: Welsh Fire v Southern Brave, Sophia Gardens (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

28 July: Manchester Originals v Northern Superchargers, Emirates Old Trafford (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

29 July: London Spirit v Trent Rockets, Lord's (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

30 July: Southern Brave v Birmingham Phoenix, Ageas Bowl (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

31 July: Welsh Fire v Manchester Originals, Sophia Gardens (women's 11:00, men's 14:30)

31 July: Northern Superchargers v Oval Invincibles, Emerald Headingley (women's 14:30, men's 18:00)

01 August: Birmingham Phoenix v Trent Rockets, Edgbaston (women's 11:00, men's 14:30)

01 August: London Spirit v Southern Brave, Lord's (women's 14:30, men's 18:00)

02 August: Oval Invincibles v Welsh Fire, Kia Oval (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

03 August: London Spirit v Northern Superchargers, Lord's (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

04 August: Birmingham Phoenix v Oval Invincibles, Edgbaston (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

05 August: Manchester Originals v Southern Brave, Emirates Old Trafford (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

06 August: Welsh Fire v Trent Rockets, Sophia Gardens (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

07 August: Southern Brave v Northern Superchargers, Ageas Bowl (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

08 August: Oval Invincibles v Trent Rockets, Kia Oval (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

09 August: Birmingham Phoenix v Welsh Fire, Edgbaston (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

10 August: Manchester Originals v London Spirit, Emirates Old Trafford (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

11 August: Southern Brave v Welsh Fire, Ageas Bowl (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

12 August: Northern Superchargers v Manchester Originals, Emerald Headingley (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

13 August: Trent Rockets v Birmingham Phoenix, Trent Bridge (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

14 August: Oval Invincibles v London Spirit, Kia Oval (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

15 August: Trent Rockets v Manchester Originals, Trent Bridge (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

16 August: Southern Brave v Oval Invincibles, Ageas Bowl (women's 15:30, men's 19:00)

17 August: Northern Superchargers v Birmingham Phoenix, Emerald Headingley (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

18 August: Welsh Fire v London Spirit, Sophia Gardens (women's 15:00, men's 18:30)

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

21 August: Men's and Women's Finals, Lord's

Can I watch The Hundred on TV?

Sky Sports will expand its own cricket television coverage to include matches from The Hundred, with some also being televised live on the BBC.

Sky Sports will have all the action live through its dedicated Cricket channel.

On the BBC, there will be 18 games broadcast live on TV - 10 men's matches and 8 women's matches, including both finals of the competition.

BBC Radio 5 Live will also have comprehensive coverage of the matches.

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