The Hundred: Rules and Explanation of the New Cricket Format

History was made in July 2021 as a new cricket format was launched. The Hundred is the newest form of the game and the first to be introduced since T20 in 2003.

It’s largely been met with a positive response from fans but how easy is it to follow?

The 100 Ball Format: Rules and Explanation

The Hundred features new rules:

  • Battings sides have 100 balls/innings to score runs.
  • If 10 batters are dismissed within those 100 balls, the innings ends early.
  • Instead of overs, there are sets of 5 or 10 balls.
  • Ends change after every 10 balls.
  • Bowling sides get a 150 seconds timeout.
  • Teams start with a 25-ball powerplay.

Otherwise the basic aim is the same: Score more runs than the opposition and you win the game.

There was some discussion over wickets and whether they would be referred to as ‘outs’. This isn’t official but you may hear both terms being used.

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Key Rule Changes

The Hundred likes to keep things simple. At the end of the game, the stats just show which side has won. The graphics won’t list the winning margin in terms of runs or wickets and it’s all about getting over the line.

Among the rule changes is the fact that bowlers can send down a series of 5 or 10 deliveries from the same end at the discretion of the captain. New batsmen must also face the next delivery, irrespective of whether there has been a change of ends or whether the batsmen have crossed as a fielder takes a catch.

It’s taken me a bit of getting used to but if you watch the live broadcasts with regularity then you shouldn’t have any problems.

What Is The Timeout?

Each bowling side gets to call a timeout lasting 150 seconds at any stage. During this period, they can regroup, take a drink and the coach can even come onto the field to discuss tactics for the remainder of the innings.

How Does Powerplay Work In 100 Ball Cricket?

Like all limited overs cricket, The Hundred uses a Powerplay where certain fielding restrictions apply. In this case, the powerplay is in operation for the first 25 balls of an innings and the bowling side can only have two fielders outside of the 30-yard circle.

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The Hundred FAQ

Why Is It Called The Hundred?

The new competition is called The Hundred because each team receives 100 balls in their innings. It’s a one innings per side contest and the team with the most runs from their 100 balls wins the game.

How Many Overs are There in Hundred Ball Cricket?

The Hundred does not use traditional six-ball overs. The 100 balls are split into 5-ball sections and each bowler in the side can bowl up to 20 deliveries. Overs are simply referred to as balls.

Bowlers can deliver a set of 5 balls or they can stay on and bowl 10.

Is It Batsman or Batter?

The official term in The Hundred competition is ‘batter.’ The competition features both men’s and women’s teams and the organisers are keen to be inclusive and not distinguish between the two. This is why batter is preferable to batsman.

What Is The White Card In The Hundred?

When you watch The Hundred you’ll see the standing umpire holding up a white card. This is simply to signal to the scorers, the teams and supporters that a series of five balls has come to an end. It’s then time for the next sequence to begin.

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Is The Hundred Replacing T20?

Many organisers within the game say that The Hundred will not replace the T20 Blast competition in England. This format has remained popular in the 2021 season and, because of the existence of the T20 World Cup, it’s hard to see English cricket abandoning Twenty/20.