Brave learn route to Hundred 2022 glory

By Connor Steel

FIXTURES AND TEAMS have been announced for the 2022 edition of the new Hundred competition with Southampton-based champions / runners up Southern Brave learning their potential journey to glory as they seek to retain the inaugural title won at Lords back in late-August versus Birmingham Phoenix.

Led by Hampshire captain James Vince, Brave will open the competition with a home clash against Welsh Fire at the Ageas Bowl; starting at 7pm on August 3 (Friday. Seven days later they will travel to Edgbaston to play a repeat of the 2021 final versus Birmingham Phoenix with a 6:30pm start time.

On August 12 (Sunday) Brave will return to the Ageas for their second home clash, this time playing London Spirit in match 10 of the competition starting at 6.30pm. Vince’s side will then travel to the Oval on the following Tuesday (August 14) to play the Oval Invincibles led by batsmen Sam Billings.

Brave’s third game at the Ageas Bowl will see them host Manchester Originals featuring both English internationals Jos Buttler and Ollie Robinson in Southampton on August 18 (Saturday), starting at a later 7pm to accommodate the earlier women’s clash versus the same opponents beginning at 3pm.

In their sixth game and 22nd of the tournament Brave will travel to Cardiff; where they are scheduled to play Welsh Fire at Sophia Gardens in the reverse fixtures. This is part of the competition format where each side play eight matches against seven teams, hence the two games between the teams.

Brave will play their final home game of the 2022 competition against Trent Rockets on August 25, which is due to start at 7pm at the Ageas Bowl. And Vince’s side will finish the group stage six days later on August 31, travelling up to Headingley to play Northern Superchargers starting early at 3pm.

In comparison to the men’s competition, Southern Brave’s women’s side will only play six games in a shortened format which will mostly be played alongside the men’s’ fixtures with earlier. The exception will be the games against Birmingham Phoenix, with these two teams not scheduled to clash in the group stage.

This shortened women’s competition is due to the inclusion of female cricket into the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games this summer, which means that some players would be unable to start. Organisers have therefore created less fixtures and this competition will start one week later on August 10.

Last year’s runners up Brave, led by England women’s bowler and 2017 World Cup hero Anya Shrubsole, will open their own quest to better the 2021 pursuit by playing London Spirit on August 12 at the Ageas Bowl. This will start at 2:30pm in Southampton before the men’s clash later that day.

Similarly to the men they will play Oval Invincibles on August 14, before hosting Manchester Originals four days later with a 3:30pm start. Shrubsole’s side will then travel to Welsh Fire on August 22 before playing Trent Rockets at the Ageas Bowl later that week. Their final group game will be against Northern Superchargers with a 11:30am start at Headingley on August 31.

Alongside the fixtures was announcements of players that would be featuring for each side. Joining Vince in the men’s team are Ross Whitely, George Garton, Tim David, Craig Overton, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills, Jake Linlott, Alex Davies, Australian Marcus Stonis and 2019 World Cup winner Jofra Archer.

Alongside Shrubsole for the women’s side will be Maia Bouchier, Danni Wyatt, Sophie Dunkley, Paige Scholfield, Carla Rudd, Lauren Bell, Tara Norris, India batter Smriti Mandhana and Australian spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington. Other players are likely to be announced over the coming weeks for both sides.

The Hundred Competition was announced in 2017 and was first played in 2021; the initial tournament delayed by twelve months due to Covid-19 restrictions. It was created as a franchise with each team having 100 balls per match to score as many runs as possible, similar to a normal cricket encounter.

However overs were limited to five balls instead of six, with this shortened format meaning that games shouldn’t last more than two and a half hours. It was hoped that this would attract younger fans and diverse crowds during the school summer holidays without disrupting traditional formats such as first class or one-day cricket; which will also feature in the 2022 Ageas Bowl calendar.

In most cases a single ticket will allow access to both mens and women’s games if held on the same day; fans asked to look at their individual clubs for more precise information on this. For those wanting to watch at home Sky Sports will offer live coverage to all competitions matches in 2022 under their subscription service alongside the occasional free-to-air coverage on BBC and YouTube.

PICTURED BY BBC SPORT: James Vince bats for Southern Brave in the 2021 competition, that his side won in August as they beat Birmingham Phoenix in the final at Lords.