Tuesday 23 February 2021 7:01 am

England cricket chiefs to launch The Hundred with women's match between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals

The Hundred, English cricket’s new short-form competition, will begin with a women’s match between the Oval Invincibles and the Manchester Originals.

The fixture at the Kia Oval on Wednesday 21 July will be followed by the first men’s match, featuring the same franchises at the same venue, the following day.

Tickets for The Hundred are due to go on sale in April but county members and those who bought tickets last year, only for the competition to be postponed, will have priority.

“Opening The Hundred with a standalone women’s match represents a historic moment, not just for cricket and women’s cricket, but more widely for sport,” said The Hundred’s Beth Barrett-Wild.

The new competition is designed to be England’s answer to the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash – star-studded, limited overs competitions.

It is hoped that the innovative 100-ball format and new team identities will attract an untapped audience to cricket.

Full fixture schedule revealed

After the opening double-header, women’s and men’s matches between the eight city-based franchises will be played on the same day at the same venue.

England bowler Sophie Ecclestone, who will play for the Manchester Originals, said: “The thought of making history and potentially bowling the first ball of The Hundred is really exciting.

“It is fantastic news that the competition is launching with a women’s match and we can’t wait to get The Hundred off to the best possible start.”

The first season of The Hundred runs from 21 July to 21 August. All fixtures have been published today.

The full fixture list for the inaugural season of The Hundred is published today.

The teams who finish second and third will meet in an eliminator on Friday 20 August at the Kia Oval, with the winner facing the first=placed team at Lord’s the following day.

How to watch The Hundred

All women’s and men’s matches in The Hundred will be televised on Sky Sports. The BBC will also show some games live, including the opener and the finals.

Fans are due to be allowed back into stadiums in their thousands by May and possibly to even greater capacity in June, meaning the competition should be played in front of crowds.

Counties will contact their members to offer them priority purhasing of tickets. Organisers will also get in touch with anyone who bought tickets last year to offer them the chance to keep those seats.

After that, a sale process will begin in April. Anyone who signs up in advance will be able to buy tickets from 7-18 April.

Remaining tickets will go on general sale from 21 April.