• Andy Marston

The Hundred: A win for women's sport

With a women's match headlining the launch of the ECB's new 100-ball competition, this week has been an overwhelming success for women's sport everywhere (including video gaming...).

Photo Source: Instagram/ @TashFarrant

The Hundred got off to an almost perfect start last week. So close to perfection, in fact, that Manchester Originals’ captain Kate Cross admitted that “I don’t think I can come off a cricket pitch and be more pleased with a loss”.

The headline match was the most watched women’s cricket match in UK history, with a peak audience of 1.95 million. The peak time BBC Two broadcast drew in a high of 1.6 million viewers, with a further 180,000 live streams on iPlayer and BBC Sport online.

Furthermore, along with the TV spectators, there was 7,395 fans in attendance at the Kia Oval, a record for largest ever attendance for a modern-day women’s domestic match. Even more amazingly, this record was smashed later in the same week as 13,537 attended London Spirit’s match at Lord’s.

As summarised by Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition & Female Engagement at the ECB, “Give women’s sport a platform, present it properly, market it properly, broadcast it properly & great things will happen.”

Interestingly, a similar rhetoric was echoed this week by Miles Jacobson OBE, studio director of Sports Interactive, the developers behind Football Manager.

Explaining his plans to incorporate women’s football into the popular video game, he stated, “It’s something we should have done a few years ago. We’ve been wanting to do this for a little while and we’ve been sitting here waiting until it was financially viable, and we’ve realised it’s not going to be financially viable until someone like us gets of our bottoms and actually does this.”