The Hundred: Tournament has single-handedly changed women’s cricket, says Charlotte Edwards

Southern Brave coach and ex-England captain Charlotte Edwards believes the Hundred has “single-handedly changed women’s cricket in this country”.

Women’s matches across the tournament drew crowds totalling 267,000 – the highest for a women’s cricket event anywhere in the world.

The previous record was set in 2020, when 136,000 people attended the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I never thought it would have the instant impact it has,” Edwards said.

Edwards’ side were beaten by Oval Invincibles in the final at Lord’s on Saturday, which was played in front of a 17,116-strong crowd.

“I have had the best seat in the house, seen the crowds and seen the players’ reaction to it all,” Edwards said.

“I think the Hundred has single-handedly changed women’s cricket in this country. It has been a pretty special experience for everyone involved.”

Viewing of the women’s final peaked at 1.4m across the BBC and Sky Sports, while the men’s match, which was won by Southern Brave, hit a peak of 2.4m.

Ticket sales across the four-week tournament totalled 510,000, with 19% of those for children.

The majority of matches were staged as double-headers due to the coronavirus pandemic and the England and Wales Cricket Board plans to retain this format for 2022.

“If you had asked me six months ago, I would probably have been on the fence,” Edwards said of the double-headers.

“Having experienced what we’ve experienced and the reaction to it all, at least for the next three or four years the double-header format would be the perfect way forward”.

The ECB also said they would address the pay disparity between the men and women’s players.

While the winners took home equal prize money, women’s salaries range from £3,600 to £15,000, while the men’s lowest pay bracket begins at £24,000.

The tournament was held at the same time as the domestic 50-over competition, meaning there has been no County Championship cricket since 11 July.

The lack of red-ball cricket for England’s men in the build-up to their Test series against India has been criticised.

“The whole point of growing the base of the sport is so you protect the things that are most precious to us and that is county cricket and Test cricket for us,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison added.

“The reason why the Hundred has had a successful start is because it is electrifying content and stuff that people want to watch.

“At the end of the day, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the electrifying content you see played out around the world. Players are still judging themselves by their performances in the Test format.”

Source link

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *