The women’s cricket revolution is well underway. A year-and-a-half after the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League, the competition has expanded to four teams, and the tournament has been extended from a match-day format to a five-day match-play campaign. A new women’s IPL is also being planned in India, and at the recent ICC Women’s World Cup, Australia’s batsman Meg Lanning became the first player to be awarded a captaincy.
The Hundred was a contest for the best women’s cricket players in the world, declared by the BCCI in November 2017. The contest was, in essence, a “legitimization” of Indian women’s cricket, and a way to put women’s cricket on the same pedestal as men’s cricket. The final was held in Mumbai on Sunday, and the winners, Rashmi Rane and Smriti Mandhana, were announced.
In 2011, Australia’s women first played Cricket’s Hundred. This past week they celebrated the first anniversary of the event, by taking part in an engagement and fundraising match at the Sandown Racecourse in Melbourne. The match was played in the same way that the ‘Men’s Hundred’ played last year, and was won by the Women by 37 runs. The Aussie team, led by captain Meg Lanning, brought out some of the women’s greatest moments in their cricketing careers, and the crowd was captivated from start to finish.. Read more about the hundred rules and let us know what you think.
‘I’m not sure I’d enjoy it!’ – The notion of an unified table is dismissed by a hundred stars.
What has been the impact of The Hundred on women’s cricket?
Huge audiences, the rise of new stars, and matches held in large stadiums have all been highlights of the tournament, but how do the players themselves feel about it?
Anya Shrubsole and Stafanie Taylor of the Southern Brave, Dane van Niekerk of the Oval Invincibles, and Jemimah Rodrigues and Katie Levick of the Northern Superchargers joined Test Match Special’s Dan Norcross to explore the history, present, and future of The Hundred.
‘I never saw myself performing at Lord’s,’ says the musician.
When The Hundred, which had been delayed by a year due to the coronavirus epidemic, started in June, no one knew what to expect.
Shrubsole (short for shrubsole) is a kind of “I went into it with an open mind. I expected a high-quality tournament – we had the Kia Super League before, which was fantastic, and I expected this to continue in the same vein. It’s been better than I anticipated for me. The number of spectators in the stadiums, the quality of the cricket, and other factors have likely surpassed my expectations.”
Taylor: I’m Taylor “I had no idea what the regulations were when I arrived. I went in blind – all I did was bat and follow Anya as the leader. But I had a great time with it. I used to play in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, and this sport continues to amaze me. I’m hoping it will go a long way. To be honest, I like everything about it – it means I’ll have less balls to bowl!”
Van Niekerk (Van Niekerk): “It has exceeded my expectations, and it has been outstanding. I was not expecting the crowds to be as large as they have been. It brought me back a little. In the first few of games, I forgot a lot of the rules. ‘Dane, you can do this…’ the English domestic players would push me.”
“I’ve been playing domestic cricket for 10, 15 years and I never anticipated playing in front of 6,000 people at Headingley,” Levick said. The internationals, I’ve learned, aren’t accustomed to audiences like this, much alone me down in Harrogate on a chilly Sunday afternoon.
“I never saw myself playing at Lord’s since it wasn’t a realistic goal for me and I didn’t want to disappoint myself. I never imagined I’d be able to do it. When we went to train the day before, all of the girls took it in. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone. We would be happy to perform in these stadiums even if they were empty.”
Rodrigues: Hello, Rodrigues “I expected crowds, but there were so many… Even in India, women’s cricket seldom draws such large audiences. It was inspiring to witness the enthusiasm and number of individuals who came up, the majority of them were small young boys and girls. I used to attend to sports with my father when I was a child, and the dream always began there, watching those games. For so many young people watching, I think the dream has begun.”
‘Pay isn’t where it should be,’ says one employee.
While the prize money for the men’s and women’s teams will be equal, there will be a salary gap. Men’s lowest wage bracketexternal-link starts at £24,000, while women’s earnings vary from £3,600 to £15,000.
“One of the things you would say about this nation is that there is a huge disparity in the audiences the guys create compared to what we receive, and that reflects in wages,” Shrubsole says. That is, in my view, how it should be. However, after playing in this Hundred and seeing the spectators, I believe the difference is too great.
“I believe it is an issue that must be addressed, especially at the lowest levels of pay. It’s a reasonable sum of money, but keep in mind that you’ll have to pay taxes and other fees on top of it. Those low-wage wages, in my view, are insufficient. No one can say, “Oh, you didn’t have a lot of people at the grounds,” because it just did not occur.”
“I don’t believe it should be equal now because we aren’t at that level,” Levick says. We should be grateful that it is better than it has ever been, but is that the case? No. I believe that the greatest thing we could have done this year was to put on the show that we have put on so far, and it is the ideal case for us to argue that we do need greater pay.
“Unless their employers are extremely kind and enable them to leave on a Tuesday to play cricket, females will have to constantly choose whether or not they want to play cricket or attempt to make ends meet. We’ll hopefully be able to expand on it each year. This has been the ideal advertisement for greater equality. Pay isn’t where it should be right now, but I believe there will be a lot more voices asking why not next year.”
‘Double-headers are a two-edged sword,’ says one expert.
Men’s and women’s matches have been staged on the same day at the same location due to the pandemic, with the ladies playing first in the early afternoon, followed by the men.
“If the event had been held in 2020, it would not have looked like this,” Shrubsole says. Because it’s the school holidays in the UK, we’ve been able to attract such large numbers by starting in the afternoon. I’m willing to bet that if they hadn’t been doubleheaders, we wouldn’t have had the audiences we had. They’ve been done very nicely, in my opinion.
“There is a little period between games, and in the past, a lengthy delay between games has been an issue with double headers. You want the two contests to be able to stand on their own in the future. But I believe it is something for a few years down the road.”
“I believe double-headers are a double-edged sword right now,” Van Niekerk says. I think we’re so accustomed to piggybacking on the men’s that it seems like everyone comes in and watches them after we play. But I don’t think that’s the case in this Hundred.
“We were nearly at full capacity before our game versus Trent Rockets, which was rained out. As a result, I don’t believe it’s that. Women’s cricket, I believe, has shown the product and piqued people’s curiosity. It is past time for women’s cricket to stand on its own, as the Hundred has shown this year.”
‘It’ll improve women’s cricket,’ Jemimah Rodrigues says of the women’s IPL.
‘It’s about time we have a women’s IPL,’ says one fan.
Despite cricket’s enormous popularity in India, the three-team Women’s T20 Challenge is the closest the teams have to a women’s Indian Premier League.
“When we watch the WBBL, then the KSL, and now the Hundred, we’re all like, ‘When will we get our own IPL?’” Rodrigues says. Women’s cricket will improve as a result of this. Consider the experience that domestic females in England are experiencing sharing changing rooms with foreign players. There’s a lot to learn.
“They will want to work harder and better once they realize that this is the norm, that this is what I need to go out and accomplish. This is particularly relevant in India, where there is a significant divide between the local and foreign sides. There are boys and girls playing cricket on every street in India; there is no lack of potential players! I believe an IPL is long overdue.”
A century is a cricketing term that refers to the number of 100-run stands that are required to score a maximum of a hundred in a single inning. The Australians refer to the hundred as the “hundred”, while the Barmy Army cheer “the hundred, the hundred”.. Read more about the hundred player reveal and let us know what you think.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- the hundred women’s squads
- the hundred cricket rules
- the hundred first match
- will the hundred be on bbc
- the hundred player reveal