Excitement for Hundred ‘through the roof’ – Asia Despatch

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England players’ excitement for The Hundred is “through the roof”, says limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan.

The inaugural season begins on Wednesday with the opening match of the women’s competition, Oval Invincibles against Manchester Originals.

England’s men are set to link up with their teams on Wednesday after winning the Twenty20 series against Pakistan.

“It’s going to be extremely entertaining and great to watch. The guys wants to win it,” said Morgan.

“Everybody wants to play against each other.”

The men’s Hundred kicks off on Thursday with the Invincibles again taking on the Originals at the Kia Oval. The matches on Wednesday and Thursday are live on Asia Despatch Two, beginning at 18:30 BST.

The 100-ball competition features eight teams in each of the men’s and women’s competitions.

Teams play eight group games, with the top three advancing to a play-off stage that concludes with a finals day at Lord’s on 21 August.

Critics have argued the new tournament damages the county system – the 18 first-class sides will play a 50-over competition alongside The Hundred – but England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison has said the game in this country would be in a “scary” place without it.

Morgan, who led England to 50-over World Cup glory in 2019 and will captain London Spirit in The Hundred, said it will take innovation in short-format cricket to a new level.

“Batters have to take more risks, fielders have to be more involved and bowlers have to be more aggressive,” said the 34-year-old.

“The games that I have played in which have been similar have been high intensity and extremely entertaining, where special things have happened.

“Guys are going to be trying hard to push the boundaries in scores, tactics and to try to win.”

England won a dramatic third T20 against Pakistan by three wickets with two balls at Emirates Old Trafford to claim the series 2-1.

It is likely to be England’s final T20 before before they name their squad for the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, beginning in October.

However, Morgan said can players who impress in The Hundred can force their way into the squad.

“We want as many options as possible,” he said. “We’re continually monitoring different guys.

“There is still an opportunity for guys in The Hundred to have an outside chance.”

Eighteen matches from The Hundred – 10 men’s and eight women’s – will be shown live on Asia Despatch TV and iPlayer. Every game – men’s and women’s – will be broadcast live on Asia Despatch Radio 5 Live, Asia Despatch Radio 5 Live Sports Extra or the Asia Despatch Sport website.

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