Northern Superchargers coach Dani Hazell believes this summer’s Commonwealth Games could be good news for the development of the women’s Hundred even though it means the competition will have two fewer group fixtures.
The schedule for the second edition of the Hundred has been released by the ECB today, for both the women and the men.
And while the format for the men remains unchanged – eight group fixtures plus the finals – the women’s event has been cut for this year alone because of congestion brought about by Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games.
T20 cricket has been introduced into that event for the first time, with England, Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all taking part from July 29 to August 7.
That means only six group games will be played by the women, with the Superchargers opening the competition against defending champions Oval Invincibles at the Oval on the evening of Thursday August 11.
The men’s teams will play each other earlier in the day.
“I think the Hundred will be a stronger competition this year,” said Hazell.
“With the Commonwealth Games coming just before the Hundred, that should open up opportunities for players from other nations to be involved because they are already in the country. That is exciting.
“Also, we were all getting used to it last year. More people will have got their heads around the strengths of other teams, what tactics work, all that kind of thing.”
On the make-up of her own squad, Hazell teased: “I think there will be a few new faces around the Superchargers this year, which will be something to look forward to for everyone.”
All women’s fixtures continue to be double headers with the men.
The first of the double headers at Headingley takes on Sunday August 14, with London Spirit the visitors, while Manchester Originals visit the following Sunday and Southern Brave on Wednesday 31 – the final group stage fixture.
The Hundred Eliminators will take place at the Ageas Bowl on Friday September 2 before the Finals at Lord’s the following day.
Hazell added: “Everybody was blown away by the success of the Hundred last summer.
“I’ll admit, personally, I was quite surprised how quickly it took off.
“But it’s a good model isn’t it – it’s short, exciting and colourful.
“It did look like it attracted a new and younger audience. Hopefully that only increases this year.
“Yes the women’s fixture list is shorter, but there’s still enough cricket in there to make a real impact.”