England captain Heather Knight says The Hundred will put women’s cricket on the same pedestal as the men’s when it launches this summer.
Knight was speaking at the Kia Oval to celebrate 50 days until The Hundred begins with a women’s match between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals in that stadium on July 21.
The Hundred – the first major UK sporting competition to be headlined with a women’s match – will also offer equal prize money among the men’s and women’s competitions.
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Knight who will captain London Spirit in the competition, said: “It’s going to be a real stage for the women’s game, which is key, putting it on the same pedestal as the men’s which is great.
“It’s so good [that the tournament will start with a women’s game]. I think all eyes are going to be on it and hopefully the girls can put on a show and there will be a real buzz about The Oval.
“It is going to be really interesting how the tactics evolve. As a captain it is something completely different and the team that adapts the most and find ways to innovate [will be successful].”
Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition and Female Engagement, said: “When I fell in love with cricket as a 10-year-old, all the role models I looked up to were men. This isn’t the case anymore.
“For young girls discovering the game for the first time this summer through The Hundred, they will see a sport that is equally relevant and equally accessible for them, as it is for boys.”
As part of the celebrations to mark 50 days until the tournament begins, 100 children took part in a Dynamos Cricket session at The Kia Oval on Tuesday alongside the likes of Knight and her England team-mates Fran Wilson and Sarah Glenn.
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Sky Sports Cricket expert Nasser Hussain feels the speed and simplicity of The Hundred will make it an exiting tournament for youngsters to watch.
The former England captain said: “I think it will be a real event. That’s what T20 cricket was like when it first started. This will be quicker. Some of the T20 games of late, especially in the IPL, have been going on far too long.
It started a while ago with Heather and her team in that World Cup final in 2017 – it became cool for girls to play cricket, when it used to be ‘boys did cricket and girls did rounders’. The Hundred is taking it on another stage to make sure we keep that momentum.
Nasser Hussain on rise of women’s cricket
“Sometimes in cricket, we complicate the game but it is a fairly simple game. Kids want to turn up and see bowling, batting, more runs, a brilliant catch. I think that’s what the Hundred will be like.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board’s programme Dynamos Cricket is for 8-11-year-olds of all abilities, allowing participants to get active, have fun and make friends while developing their cricket skills.
To coincide with Women’s Big Cricket Month – which, back for a second year, aims to give more women and girls the opportunity to play, follow or attend cricket – a further seven flagship Dynamos taster sessions featuring high-profile players will be taking place in each host city for The Hundred.
If you would like to discover more about Dynamos and countdown cricket please click here.
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