Crowds returning? Some of the best international and domestic cricketers in the world? All televised across the BBC and Sky? The Hundred is coming and I’m ready to give my all for Oval Invincibles.
The Hundred is a brand new 100-ball cricket competition which began on the 21 July with a women’s game as Manchester Originals play Oval Invincibles at the Kia Oval. It’s really cool that the women will kick things off and we’ll be following them the following day as we take on the men’s Manchester Originals team.
There is a lot to be excited about with this competition, not only is the standard of cricket going to be unreal, but the visibility and access to the sport has never been better either. We have a real opportunity to reach out and inspire a new generation of players and fans this summer, especially in terms of engaging with South Asian communities.
Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions and busy international schedules, there is still going to be a strong overseas presence throughout the competition. Players like Mohammad Nabi who is the top T20I All-Rounder in the world right now will be joining London Spirit, and I can’t wait to see him in action. At the Oval Invincibles we have Sunil Narine and Trent Rockets will see Rashid Khan join their side, two great cricketers from West Indies and Afghanistan. Southern Brave welcome Quinton de Kock and Devon Conway while Faf du Plessis will captain Northern Superchargers. It’ll be great to test ourselves against some of these players and it’s bound to make the games special.
Being able to go down and watch some of the big names you’re used to watching on TV is such a great opportunity, especially after the past year-and-a-half that we’ve had. In England you won’t usually get three overseas players in one side but now you’re going to be able to watch them play every week and you’ve got the likes of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali playing as well.
My personal hope is that we’ll inspire anyone and everyone to pick up a bat and ball. If you come down and watch the games and enjoy it, get to your local club or park it give it a go. It’s exactly how I started. Whether you play in your back garden, in the park or wherever, you never know how good you are until you try.
For more information on The Hundred or for tickets head to www.thehundred.com.