The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that Lord’s and the 1st Central County Ground in Hove will host the men’s and women’s finals of the inaugural season of The Hundred.
The franchise-based tournament, a controversial addition to the domestic cricket calendar in the UK, will run from July 17 to August 15 next year, with the ‘Home of Cricket’ to host the men’s final on the latter date, and the women’s finale to take place on the previous day at the home ground of Sussex County Cricket Club.
The ECB noted that construction of two new three-tier stands at Lord’s to replace the existing Compton and Edrich Stands will be completed in time for the 2020 season. It added that Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), owner of Lord’s, plans to transform the ground for The Hundred final with increased food and drink options – including vegan, halal and child-friendly concessions – and off-field entertainment.
The Nursery Ground and MCC Cricket Academy will also host fan zones with space for entertainment, retail and child-friendly activities. Guy Lavender, chief executive of MCC, said: “The Home of Cricket is a great setting for the final of this brand new competition, which will provide MCC the opportunity to welcome many more young people and families into the ground, including the Pavilion, not only for the final but across the group stages with our team, London Spirit.
“We have been fortunate enough to host some incredible finals over the years, not least with the recent exploits of both the England men’s and women’s teams winning their respective World Cups in exhilarating fashion, and we know this is going to be another momentous sporting occasion – as well as another seminal moment in the rich history of Lord’s.”
The women’s competition will culminate in a showcase Finals Day in Hove the day before with what the ECB states will be an “exciting line-up” of world-class cricket, music and entertainment. The ground has a strong track record of staging sell-out England women’s internationals and the Women’s Super League Finals Day in recent years.
Rob Andrew, Sussex Cricket chief executive, said: “We have a strong reputation for supporting and promoting the women’s game in Sussex and this will help grow the interest in girls’ and women’s cricket – one of our key priorities over the coming years.”
The Hundred will introduce a new format to the sport, with the traditional overs system replaced by two 100-ball innings, broken into blocks of 10. A number of other innovations are planned to make the format more accessible to a wider audience, such as strategic timeouts for the bowling side and a 25-ball ‘Powerplay’ at the start of each innings.
The men’s event will be staged across eight Test venues, with each housing a franchise. Lord’s will be home to the London Spirit, while fellow capital city venue the Kia Oval will host the Oval Invincibles. Edgbaston will house the Birmingham Phoenix, Nottingham’s Trent Bridge will host the Trent Rockets and the Welsh Fire will play at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.
Emirates Old Trafford will accommodate the Manchester Originals, Emerald Headingley in Leeds will stage the Super Northern Chargers and the Ageas Bowl in Southampton will be home to the Southern Brave.
Sanjay Patel, managing director of The Hundred, said: “We’re delighted to award the first finals of The Hundred to Lord’s and Hove – two grounds with a great history of staging showcase events in men’s and women’s cricket.
“The Hundred represents an incredible opportunity to broaden our audience for cricket and it’s great to see our finals venues committed to delivering great spectacles next August to close the inaugural competitions with a bang.”