The Hundred returns for the second edition of the short-format cricket tournament with a whole new audience set to be exposed to the delights of the game.


Cricket is, by its very nature, a complex, strategic game of patience, skill and mental resolve and it can be a daunting sport to get into for the first time when commentators launch into full flow and dig deep inside their bag of phrases that often resemble an alien language.

The Hundred seeks to change all of that with refined terminology and a simplified, shortened format, but drama remains high and each match is bulging with action.

Separate men's and women's tournaments will run simultaneously this summer. The Oval Invincibles made history to win the first-ever women's edition of The Hundred last year, while Southern Brave stole the show in the men's competition. brings you up to speed with everything you need to know about The Hundred rules, format and terminology.

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What is The Hundred format?

The Hundred is a 100-ball format designed to simplify cricket for mass appeal among those who wouldn't ordinarily tune in for big Test matches and traditional longer forms of the game.

Test matches last up to five days with no limit on the amount of balls bowled over those days. Each side has two innings (one team bats, then bowls, then repeats that sequence) and their scores from each inning are combined to determine the winner.

The Hundred aims to strip away the complexities of multi-day cricket and leave fans with a short, sharp, fast, action-packed format with just 100 balls to be delivered in matches that won't last more than 150 minutes – the length of your average Marvel blockbuster film!

Piqued your interest? Read on for the rules and how to make the most of watching The Hundred.

What are the rules of The Hundred?

Each team bats once, one after the other. The time spent batting is known as an innings. Each innings will see one team batting and one team will bowl 100 balls – hence the name of the competition.

The aim of The Hundred is for the batting team to score as many runs (between the two sets of stumps on the field) as possible in 100 balls. If the bowler hits the stumps or a fielder catches a ball that has been hit by the batter, the batter is out and a new batter takes their place.

Individual bowlers can bowl a maximum of 20 balls in a match, in either five or 10-ball stints.

Each batting team is awarded a timeout of up to two minutes. During this time, coaches can brief their players, change tactics, discuss the state of the match to that point and how to approach the rest of it.

Once 100 balls have been bowled or 10 batters are got out in one innings, the teams switch. The batters become bowlers and fielders, the bowlers and fielders become batters. The same process is completed and the score from the first innings is now a target to beat within 100 balls.

Each team is given a 25-ball powerplay, allowing two fielders to stand outside of the close 30-yard circle during this time. This means they have a short head start in terms of positioning on the field.

Games last up to two-and-a-half hours. The team with the highest number of runs wins the match.

The Hundred terminology

One of the biggest sources of contention among traditional cricket fans has been the change in terminology to simplify the game.

We've rounded up some of the key changes to lingo for The Hundred.

Over -> Balls

In traditional cricket, bowling is divided into six-ball stints known as overs. The Hundred will eradicate overs to simply five-ball and 10-ball stints.

Wickets -> Outs

When a bowler hits the stumps or a fielder catches the ball, the batter is out. Traditionally, this would be recorded as a wicket, but now the batter will simply be 'out'.

Batsman -> Batter

The gender-neutral term 'batter' will be used in place of the traditional 'batsman' tag. There will be 11 batters per team with two active in the middle at all times, switching with new batters if they are out.

Putting all the fresh lingo to the test, you could pretty much sum up The Hundred in one sentence:

Batters must score as many runs as possible before the end of 100 balls, the time limit is reached or 10 batters are declared out. The team with the most runs wins the match. Easy.

If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Sport hub for all the latest news.


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