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News

The Hundred: Women's competition trimmed due to Commonwealth Games clash

Total women's matches cut from 34 to 26 as 2022 fixtures are announced

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
27-Jan-2022
Mady Villiers celebrates a breakthrough, Oval Invincibles vs Manchester Originals, Women's Hundred, The Kia Oval, July 21, 2021

Oval Invincibles will host the first women's fixture on August 11  •  AFP/Getty Images

The ECB have cut eight women's matches from the Hundred's fixture list for 2022 in order to accommodate a clash with the Commonwealth Games (CWG).
The 100-ball competition will be staged between August 3 and September 3, a slightly later window in the English summer than in its first summer, with the women's T20 tournament at the CWG due to run from July 29 until August 7, played exclusively at Edgbaston.
The first eight matchdays of the Hundred will be standalone men's fixtures, starting with a round of designated local derbies. Southern Brave, the defending men's champions, will play Welsh Fire at the Ageas Bowl in the opening game on August 3.
Men's teams will play eight fixtures - twice against their local rival, and once against every other team - but women's teams will play six, meaning each team will have one side that they do not play against in the group stages.
The women's competition will start on August 11, when the inaugural winners Oval Invincibles are due to host Northern Superchargers. That matchday will be the only one in which the most common double-header model is inverted: the men's match will take place at 3pm, followed by the women's at 6.30pm.
The group stage ends with two double-headers - Northern Superchargers vs Southern Brave and Manchester Originals vs Oval Invincibles - on August 31, with the knockout stages to follow in early September.
The eliminators, played between the sides finishing second and third in the group stages, will be held at the Ageas Bowl on September 2, with the winners playing the first-placed teams in the finals at Lord's the following day.
Some England men's Test players are expected to be made available for the first two or three rounds of fixtures before their series against South Africa, which starts on August 17, and could be released for the knockouts, which take place in the break between the second and third Tests. White-ball specialists will be available for the duration.
The Hundred will run alongside the Royal London Cup, which starts on August 2, and some England players may be involved in a First-Class Counties Select XI fixture against South Africa from August 9 as red-ball preparation ahead of the Test series.
In 2021, several multi-format players including Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler played the first two games of the Hundred before being pulled out for the start of the Test series against India, while others including Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson were given dispensation to miss the competition by the ECB.
Teams have been negotiating with men's players who were contracted in 2021 across the past two months, with the retention window due to close in mid-February. Each team can retain up to 10 men's players, and the draft will be staged towards the end of March so they can fill their squads.
Australia and New Zealand players are expected to prove popular at the draft due to a break in their schedule, though some Australians may be required for a one-day series against Zimbabwe pencilled in for the end of August.
Teams have been allowed to retain a maximum of two centrally-contracted England women's players and unlimited other players from their 2021 squads, with their retention window due to shut next week. That will be followed by an open-market system in which teams can negotiate with other players in order to fill the rest of their squads.
Salaries have been increased in both competitions for 2022. Men's salary bands have been increased by 25%, while women's have been more than doubled after the success of the competition's first season.
Tickets will go on general sale in April, with earlier windows for those who attended games last year or registered their interest in the competition.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98