The Hundred Draft 2023: Do we have more cricket fans?

boy in full cricket gear

It’s draft day for The Hundred, with the third season of Britain’s shortest format of cricket on the horizon.

Big international names are expected to be snapped up by the franchises, the draft is one of the last opportunities for the teams to fill their rosters.

What is The Hundred?

Introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), following the success of 20 over cricket, the new competition is aiming to bring new audiences to cricket.

The complete opposite of five day test cricket, matches are done in 2 and a half hours.

The format:

  • Each team gets 100 ball to score as many runs as possible.
  • Balls are bowled in sets of 5, with bowlers able to bowl 10 balls in one spell
  • Bowlers can bowl a maximum of 20 balls a game.
  • Powerplays provide advantages for the batting and bowling teams throughout each innings.
  • Traditional rules apply with number of players and the scoring system.
  • The team with the most runs after both teams have batted wins.

So has the competition achieved the goal, of more British cricket fans?

Stats released by the ECB show that the competition has generated a whole new audience.

They confirmed that 5.9 million new cricket fans watched the sport for the first time.

Over 500,000 spectators were in attendance in the 2022 season, with almost a quarter of those in attendance children.

Peter Free works for Norfolk County Cricket, he said: “Families are getting involved, there are events on around the stadium so if someone isn’t interested in cricket they can do other things.”

The competition also boasts some of the worlds best female players, with crowds for women’s games breaking records at all eight grounds.

Peter Free’s role is Head of Development for Women’s and Girls Cricket.

He said: “There has been a massive uptake in girls getting involved in cricket… They can watch women playing at the highest level.”

What is the Draft?

In another step towards modernisation, teams are assembled through a draft.

Popularised by the world leading Indian Premier league, sides have the opportunity to add to their squads through a draft.

Every side has one centrally-contracted England International with the rest of the side made up of players at specific salary brackets. The most in the mens competition is £125,000, while the Women’s top price is £31,250. Each side is allowed 3 overseas (non-english) players in their roster, but they must fit within the bracket structure.

Sides were able to retain players from last season, this graphic shows those players retained and at what price.

Image rights: ECB

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