What is the cent draft? Cricket rules explained amid criticism
The Hundred is gearing up to enter its second season after a broadly promising maiden voyage in 2021 – here’s what you need to know about how the cricket tournament and draft system works, the greatest players available and the competition’s top reviews
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The Hundred caused a stir in British cricket last year, with the new format ripping up the old rulebook.
The inaugural season of the competition was generally considered a great success with a new type of fan attracted to the sport – the final at Lords was packed with over 25,000 spectators.
Occupying the filled tournament seats were not just men in beer, but children – taking 20% of the tickets, in fact, a huge jump from previous years of the T20 Blast.
The freshman game saw the Oval Invincibles crowned the women’s tournament champions and Southern Brave claim the men’s trophy.
Now, on April 5, 2022, the main draft for the men’s tournament is due to take place. Here’s what you need to know about how the contest and draft work.
How is The Hundred different from other forms of cricket?
The Hundred is different in many ways. The most obvious is the number of balls thrown – only 100 per side.
This is less than the previous shortest cricket format, T20, which consisted of 120 balls played per inning.
Another difference between The Hundred and other forms of domestic British cricket is the way teams are organised, with the tournament structure breaking away from the county-based transition system that has prevailed for decades. Instead, it’s being replaced by a franchise model based on cities and regions.
What is still the same as more traditional forms of the game, however, is that whoever scores the most points wins. Lose all 11 batters and your innings will end.
But, whereas in the past – and this is really just a detail – both teams tried to score the highest possible total, the new format sees the first team counting and the second team hitting to bring down those runs.
The final major differences are in the way overs are thrown, with five balls going to the batter rather than the traditional six.
And, whereas before overs alternated the end from which they were thrown, the new game sees two overs played from each end to halve the time spent resetting the pitch after each over.
How does the Hundred draft work?
The draft is a style of team selection inspired by American sportsbooks.
This particular project is done in two stages, with each team allowed to include 15 players in total.
In each of the 15 players, there will be at least one England player under contract with the red ball – there are 20 England players under central contract.
In most scenarios, the remaining 14 players will be drafted, with each team only allowed to have three foreign players.
Some of the 20 players could be allowed to miss the tournament, with four of the players allowed to be retained as domestic players.
No team is allowed to retain more than two centrally contracted players from the previous season.
In total, men’s teams are allowed to keep 10 players from their 2021 squad and can keep any national or international player under contract with them in 2021.
All teams must keep an open spot for the wildcard pick.
Each team will take turns filling all the salary brackets they have open, choosing players from a pool.
The order that the teams will be able to choose is the following:
- spirit of london
- welsh fire
- Manchester Originals
- Northern Superchargers
- Invincible ovals
- Trent Rockets
- Birmingham Phoenix
- Southern Brave
Each player in the draft pool will have a reserve price, and they cannot be purchased by a team for less than that amount.
If a team wants to spend more than that on a player, they are allowed to do so.
A joker choice may also be made at a later date closer to the start of the tournament.
They will also be able to choose an overseas wild card at a later date – both of these spots will be announced in June.
As of this writing, the Welsh Fire have the most spots to fill. A total of 17 foreign players and 25 national players will be divided into teams.
Who are The Hundred’s biggest men’s draft stars?
Most of cricket’s biggest names are already in squads, having been retained the previous year. However, the following items are available for teams to recruit.
David Warner, Kieron Pollard, Aaron Finch and Andre Russell are all in contention as the top overseas players, while Joe Clarke and Laurie Evans are among the strongest domestic options available.
In total, players from 16 countries are available, with 250 players available for selection on the national draft side.
What are the main criticisms of the Hundred?
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The Hundred’s biggest criticism comes mainly from the conservative side of the fan base, who claim the tournament is doing away with many cricketing traditions.
While some would support a ‘it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ line, others wonder why the ECB has adopted a format that is not played by any other country, especially when Britain has already a perfectly usable T20 tournament in the form of the Explosion.