It’s been barely a week since The Women’s Hundred took off in London with a clash between last year’s champions Oval Invincibles and Northern Superchargers. This is the second edition of the star-studded tournament and it has certainly been a fascinating ride so far.
The cricketing fraternity saw a rare picture of the men’s and women’s teams lifting the trophy together last year, with equal attention from the media and spectators.
The 2021 season finale at Lord’s witnessed a record-breaking crowd of 17,116 individuals. In the end, 267,000 people showed up in the stadiums to watch the women’s games. The average turnout was 7,000 to 8,000 which undoubtedly emphasized the success of the tournament.
Talking about the TV records set, according to the BBC, the first game of The Women's Hundred 2021 between the Invincibles and Manchester Originals, enticed an audience of 1.6 million. Moreover, the BBC disclosed that there were 1,80,000 live streams via their online platforms.
As Invincibles’ skipper Dane van Niekerk said, she was expecting the 2022 edition to be “bigger and better”, and so it seems it will be! The second derby of the competition between Southern Brave and London Spirit had the highest women’s attendance of 8,066 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Players in The Women's Hundred 2022 to receive double last year's paychecks
The 2022 season also comes with some more cash than the last one, as the players will receive double the paychecks – $41,500 (for the top paid women) and $10,000 (for the lowest paid women). Last year, the top players received $20,000 and the lowest paid received $10,000. This is a 108% rise compared to last year's salaries.
Following the #EachforEqual initiative by the ECB, the winners of the men's and women's tournaments will receive an equal amount of prize money, which is $3,64,252. The runners-up will earn $91,063. Further, the teams in third place will be rewarded $60,708. The players with the most runs will receive $6,070.
Players like Alice Capsey and Abtaha Maqsood are fortunate enough to be counted as The Women's Hundred's discoveries. Domestic players are soaking up the environment with several overseas performers in the dugout. It's surreal.
Getting to play at Lord's or Headingley in front of vast crowds is something that women's cricket has been dreaming about for ages. The English Cricket Board's exclusive unique endeavor now seems to be the biggest boost for the women's game.
Last season, The Women's Hundred missed several international players, particularly Australians, at least towards the end of the contest. But this time, it's business as usual with top players in attendance.
With the Women's Indian Premier League (WIPL) getting ready to make its presence felt soon, the future of women's cricket looks even brighter.
The Women's Hundred has managed to do what the WBBL (Women’s Big Bash League) and even T20I cricket did not. England fans, who are not short of enthusiasm for Test cricket, look like they are loving this version of the game.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the acceptance of the format among purists of the sport and the response to the women’s game, in particular. But looking at the evolution of the tournament so far, The Women's Hundred seems to be prospering.
As Jemimah Rodrigues recently stated, The Women's Hundred is on its way to be a ’blessing', not just for her but for women’s cricket in general.
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