We’re inching closer to The Hundred 2022 – the second year of the UK’s new short-form franchise cricket tournament. The eight-team men’s and women’s competitions involve leading cities across England and Wales, with the event overseen by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
The format of the tournament is somewhat unsurprising given the name of the competition. Each teams have 100 balls per innings in a slightly revamped, fast-paced version of Twenty20, with the aim of capturing the imagination of the next generation of cricket fans in this country. With 100 balls faced per team, each contest lasts no more than two-and-a-half hours, which appeared to maintain the attention of the younger generation in grounds up and down the country last year. It also captured the imagination of Cricket Web users in last year’s prediction league.
The rules unique to The Hundred
Although you might think this format of the game is just about the number of balls per innings, you’d be wrong. In fact, there are several dynamics that the ECB has tweaked to provide a different test for bowlers and batters alike. Below, we’ve put together some of the headline rules unique to The Hundred:
- Bowlers are required to change ends after every 10 deliveries
- Bowlers can bowl either five or 10 consecutive deliveries
- Bowlers can bowl no more than 20 deliveries per innings
- Batting teams begin with a ‘powerplay’ for the first 25 deliveries
- Only two fielders are permitted outside the 30-yard inner fielding circle during the powerplay
- Time-outs can be called by team captains at any point
- No-balls are worth two runs as well as a free hit
- Teams with sluggish over rates are penalised by having fewer outfielders for the final over of the innings
The tournament is strategically scheduled to coincide with the school summer holidays. A single day ticket gives fans entry into double-header contests, allowing you to watch both the men’s and women’s games for one price.
A look at The Hundred men’s tournament for 2022
In terms of franchise recruitment, The Hundred adopted a draft-style process akin to the NFL. Each team has one centrallycontracted England red ball cricketer, with 14 players needed to draft into each franchise. Three of which can be overseas players. Each player in the draft will have a reserve price that means they cannot be drafted for less than this fee. However, it may be required to pay above the reserve price to snap up a top talent from the clutches of another franchise.
Let’s take a quick look at how the men’s competition is shaping up ahead of this summer’s tournament. The Southern Brave won the inaugural Hundred title in 2021 and they look set to have another strong roster this time around.Aside from the centrally contracted fast bowler Jofra Archer, the Brave can also lean on overseas stars like South African Quinton de Kock and Australian Marcus Stoinis. Meanwhile British contingent James Vince, Chris Jordan and Tymal Mills are all specialists at the short form of the game.
It’s the depth of talent with bat and ball that makes the Brave the outright favourites for The Hundred 2022. As the clock ticks down to the tournament, all eyes are increasingly focused on the latest cricket odds, with the likes of Birmingham Phoenix and Trent Rockets also highly respected by the market.
The Phoenix, who the Brave ousted in last year’s Grand Final, have plenty of big-game players in their ranks too. Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Imran Tahir and Chris Woakes are all players for the big occasion. Meanwhile the Rockets have big-hitting Alex Hales in their ranks, along with the enigmatic leg spinner Rashid Khan.
Elsewhere, the Welsh Fire also have big-scoring potential with Jonny Bairstow the headline batter in their roster. The Northern Superchargers have a couple of iconic overseas stars to call upon in the shape of South African icon Faf Du Plessis and West Indian favourite Dwayne Bravo. The former is only narrowly behind compatriot AB de Villiers in the list of the top South African players of all time, with de Villiers considered one of top cricketers of all time.
The competition looks set to remain at least until 2028 following a new broadcast deal between the ECB and Sky Sports which commences from 2025 for four years. The ECB confirmed that Sky Sports paid £220m per year in their previous broadcast rights deal and the figure for the new arrangement is greater than this.