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World-class cricketers come together to celebrate 50 days to go until The Hundred

©Tom Shaw / ECB Images

To celebrate 50 days to go until the opening game of The Hundred on 21 July, 100 children today took part in a Dynamos Cricket session alongside world-class players including Heather Knight, Fran Wilson and Sarah Glenn.

The Hundred will launch with an historic women’s match, Oval Invincibles vs Manchester Originals, in the new action-packed 100-ball competition. It will be followed by the same two men’s sides competing the following day, also at The Kia Oval.

It will be the first time a major UK sporting competition has headlined with a women’s match.

“I can’t wait to play in the first game of The Hundred. It’s really exciting and it’s made that bit more special for us knowing that we’re starting the whole competition with a women’s game,” said Mady Villiers of Oval Invincibles.

“The Hundred is going to be fast, exciting and really entertaining. We’re buzzing for that first game, and I hope everyone who’ll be watching will enjoy it as much as us.”

Opponent Cordelia Griffith of Manchester Originals said: “It’s going to be such a big game and I’m proud to be a part of it. It’s going to be an amazing night and I hope we’re able to get as many Manchester Originals fans as possible down to the Kia Oval to watch it.”

“The fact that The Hundred is opening with a standalone women’s fixture just shows how much the competition wants to drive the women’s game forwards and open up cricket to as many people as possible.”

Sam Curran of Oval Invincibles, said: “We’ll have the Oval Invincibles men’s team in the stand on opening night, and hopefully we can help Fran, Mady and the team get off to a winning start. It’ll be nice to have a ‘one team, two squads’ vibe throughout the competition, and obviously it would be great if both Oval Invincibles teams ended up on top.”

Eight-year old Sophia Ahmad, who took part in the morning’s Dynamos Cricket session with players said: “I had lots of fun playing at The Oval today and it was so inspiring to meet Naomi Dattani. I hope one day to be a professional player like her.”

Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition and Female Engagement, said: “When I fell in love with cricket as a ten year old, all the role models I looked up to were men. As we’ve seen today, this isn’t the case anymore. For young girls discovering the game for the first time this summer through The Hundred they will see a sport that is equally relevant and equally accessible for them, as it is for boys. With 50 days to go now until the opening match of the competition, a standalone women’s match taking centre stage at the Kia Oval, the excitement is really building. Be there to be a part of history and show your support for the growth of women’s sport.”

The Hundred’s ambition is to throw cricket’s doors open to new audiences this summer, welcoming families and inspiring the next generation to say ‘cricket is a game for me’. As part of this, and to coincide with the ECB’s Women’s Big Cricket Month (June), a further seven flagship Dynamos taster sessions featuring high profile players will be taking place in each host city for The Hundred.

The ECB has launched Dynamos Cricket this summer, a new participation programme for 8-11 year olds of all abilities. Designed with kids’ needs in mind, Dynamos Cricket will see participants get active, have fun and make new friends while developing their cricketing skills and playing a fast-paced, exciting game of countdown cricket – a new format that mirrors The Hundred.

Kids that sign up for Dynamos will receive priority access tickets to The Hundred for their family, as well as receiving a whole host of free gifts and money-can’t-buy experiences associated with the competition and its partners. Parents can find out more about Dynamos Cricket and register their children to take part at dynamoscricket.co.uk.

For more information about The Hundred and ticket access visit thehundred.com.