After the grand success of the T20 format in the last decade, a new format of cricket, The Hundred gets off to a flier on yesterday by England Cricket Board (ECB). The Hundred got a tremendous amount of attention among cricket fans. It resulted in record-breaking attendance in the stadium. Moreover, millions of cricket fans watched the campaign opener online.
As per the report of Espncricinfo, the inaugural match of The Hundred was the most-watched women’s cricket game in the UK, with a staggering 1.95 million TV viewers. Also, 7400 people attended the live match in the stadium. The fireworks before the game and splendid music during breaks made The Hundred an exquisite experience.
Manchester fell to defend the modest total against Oval
On the game front, Manchester Originals and Oval Invincibles women’s teams clash heads in the first game of The Hundred. The Oval Invincibles defeated the Originals in the tricky chase of 136 runs off 100 balls. Oval Invincibles skipper Dane van Niekerk scored an elegant fifty to chase the precarious target. Invincibles lost three wickets in succession early in the innings. Manchester’s skipper Kate Cross snared three wickets. Skipper Niekerk and proteas all-rounder Marizanne Kapp stitched a vital partnership of 73 runs to reach their team close to the target. After the fall of Kapp, Proteas player Niekerk and English all-rounder Mady Villiers completed the victory in the first match of The Hundred.
Before that, Manchester Originals won the toss and opted to bat first. Proteas wicket-keeper Lizelle Lee scored 42 runs off 39 balls while opening for Originals. English batter Georgie Boyce and Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur scored blistering knocks. Therefore, Originals amassed 135 runs off 100 balls. From the Invincibles, English left-arm pacer Tash Farrant scalped three wickets while Proteas player Kapp dismissed two batters of Originals. Invincibles skipper Niekerk bagged the Player of the Match award for her match-winning knock.
Former greats showed early reservations about The Hundred
Two years ago, when The Hundred was still on the conception basis, Indian skipper Virat Kohli was not convinced about the structure of the new format. He had declared his uneasiness about the increase in one more format and some innovated rules changes by ECB in the new format. The 32-years-old icon had said, “I cannot think of one more format.”
The Delhi-born cricketer had remarked that he is not willing to play The Hundred. He mentioned, “I don’t want to be a testing sort of a cricketer for any new format. I don’t want to be someone who’s going to be part of that World XI who comes and launches the 100-ball format.”
The Indian skipper was also concerned about the quality of cricket due to the commercialism of cricket. He had stated, “I’m already very … I wouldn’t say frustrated but sometimes it can get very demanding of you when you have to play so much cricket regularly. I feel somewhere the commercial aspect is taking over the real quality of cricket and that hurts me.”
Along with Virat Kolhi, MCC Chief Keith Bradshaw and Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene had been sceptical about the new format at that time.