The Hundred is set to make further history by introducing the first ever women’s player Draft to be held by a major UK sport ahead of next summer’s tournament.
The Draft will coincide with that of the men’s tournament as teams between them draft at least 32 domestic and overseas women’s players.
Welsh Fire occupy the first overall pick at the 2023 Draft after finishing bottom of the standings with a record of 1-5 last season, while the reigning champion Oval Invincibles will pick last.
Until now the absence of a draft in the women’s tournament meant teams were permitted to recruit players from around the world within their salary cap allowance until the end of June.
“It is brilliant news that The Hundred will be holding the first-ever draft in the women’s game, and it’ll be fascinating to see who is first pick!” said London Spirit’s Heather Knight.
“We’ve already talked about it as a playing group – it’s really exciting and I think we’ve seen in the men’s game that drafts really get people discussing and debating selection, so it’s great that the women’s competition will be part of that conversation.”
The selection process will consist of three stages, beginning with retention as teams are allowed to keep a maximum of four players from their 2022 squads when the retention window opens next month. At this point teams can only retain a maximum of three England Women’s central contract or overseas players, which account for ‘marquee players’, and can sign no more than two England or two overseas players.
During the draft teams will select a minimum of four players and get the chance to use one “right to match card”, meaning if a team drafts a player who did not play for them in 2022 that player’s former team can re-sign them providing they have a slot available in their squad at the same salary band.
Following the draft teams will sign their seven remaining players on an open market basis.
“Introducing the draft represents another landmark moment for women’s sport in this country, as The Hundred continues to break new ground and accelerate professionalism within women’s cricket,” said Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition.
“The impact of The Hundred on the women’s game after just two editions of the competition has been enormous, generating unprecedented levels of visibility, making household names of our brilliant female players, and driving performance standards.
“The inclusion of a draft going into year three builds on all of this. It demonstrates progress off the field, and also acts to support all eight teams in creating evenly balanced squads on the field, with the aim of delivering the most exciting contest yet for fans to enjoy.”