Women’s Hundred contracts rolled over until 2021, ECB confirms

All players offered a contract for the Women’s Hundred in 2020 have the option to roll over their deals to 2021, the England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed.

The Women’s Hundred, just like the men’s, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic with the new 100-ball domestic tournament now set to get underway next year.

The women’s players can choose to stick with their current teams and be paid the same fee or turn down their initial deal and negotiate with any other team from October.

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Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of The Hundred Women’s Competition, said: “Since we made the decision to postpone the 2020 edition of The Hundred, one of the most important aspects of the re-building process as we move towards 2021 has been to make sure that the women’s players are protected as best as possible.

“A few options were considered around the re-selection process, and after much consultation, including talking to the PCA and the players themselves, it was unanimously decided that the strongest approach was to implement a rollover mechanism for players who were selected in 2020 to 2021.

“COVID-19 has caused some uncertainty for athletes, especially female athletes, so being able to provide immediate clarity and assurance to the women’s players that they will get the chance to re-sign for the same team and for the same fee in 2021 is very important, and demonstrates The Hundred’s ongoing commitment to the women’s game.”

Shrubsole sticks with Southern Brave

England seamer Anya Shrubsole has re-signed for the Southern Brave side and says it was an easy decision to make – and that she expects most players to remain with their first-choice franchise.

“I’d expect that a large majority will stay the same,” said Shrubsole, who is one of two England-contracted players at Southern Brave alongside Danni Wyatt.

“There may be a little bit of movement but you obviously signed up for those teams because that’s where you wanted to play, so I can’t see a huge amount of changing within the year.

“It was a really easy decision to me. I was really looking forward to working with [head coach] Charlotte Edwards and the group of players that we’d got together, so fingers crossed that they all want to come back as well.”

In March, the ECB confirmed that The Hundred would offer women and men equal prize money, with the total prize budget of £600,000 split 50-50 between the respective tournaments.

The game’s governing body has a long-term commitment to make cricket a gender-balanced sport and Shrubsole believes that goal, coupled to the regional retainers awarded to over 20 domestic cricketers during the pandemic, signals the advent of a transformative period in women’s cricket.

“The Hundred is going to be huge for the income that’s coming into the women’s game,” said the seamer.

“I guess if you link that with the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and with the retaining contracts that are coming in there, it’s a huge step for professionalising the women’s game further and having more professional cricketers outside of just the ones who have got the England contracts.

“So The Hundred was going to be huge for that and I guess it’s also a good reason for rolling over the contracts because it gives people some security.”

Government guidelines on crowds returning to live sport remain fluid and Shrubsole admits that there’s no guarantee that The Hundred will be played in front of fans next summer.

“Who knows? A year seems like a long time but I think everybody would be guessing at this point,” she said. “The pilots appear to be going pretty well at the events that fans have been at.

“Obviously the most important thing is getting some cricket but a tournament like The Hundred, you want the fans there. A year is a long time. Anyone who says that there will or won’t be fans there will be guessing.”

England Women vs West Indies Women schedule (all games live on Sky Sports)

• Monday, September 21 – 1st Vitality IT20, 6.30pm

• Wednesday, September 23 – 2nd Vitality IT20, 6.30pm

• Saturday, September 26 – 3rd Vitality IT20, 1pm

• Monday, September 28 – 4th Vitality IT20, 6.30pm

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