Women’s Hundred to introduce player draft for 2023

The Women’s Hundred is set to emulate the men’s competition by introducing a player draft ahead of next summer’s competition.

The new system, which will be conducted in conjunction with the men’s draft next year, will replace the existing salary cap for the eight women’s teams, with at least 32 domestic and overseas players set to be picked.

Welsh Fire, who finished bottom of the standings in the 2022 season, will be given the first selection, while Oval Invincibles, the two-times reigning champions, will go last.

Prior to the draft, each team will be permitted to retain up to four players from their existing squads when the retention window opens in December.

A minimum of four players per squad will be signed during the draft, while the teams will be permitted to use one “right to match card” on the night, if they wish to retain a player who had been on their books for 2022, so long as they have a slot available in their squad at the same salary band.

Heather Knight, England’s captain who is also in charge at London Spirit, said: “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!”

“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 remaining seven players in each squad will be signed on the open market ahead of the new season, although a limit of three centrally contracted England players and three overseas players will apply throughout the process. The men’s and women’s overseas wildcard draft will not take place in 2023.

Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of the Women’s Hundred, added: “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.

“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.”

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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