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Guide to The Hundred 2021 Season – Rules, Team Analysis, Odds, and More

| May 2, 2021 6:02 am PDT

The inaugural season of The Hundred is set to get underway in just over two months, with eight franchises competing in the brand-new 100-ball cricket tournament.

Following a year-long delay due to the pandemic, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will finally unveil the modern format of the game on July 22, with Oval Invincibles facing Manchester Originals in the curtain-raiser.

But what exactly is The Hundred? How will the tournament work? And what do we already know about the teams and players?

Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered.

In this preview for the 2021 season of The Hundred, I tell you everything you need to know about cricket’s newest competition.

I explain The Hundred format, analyze the teams and players, look at the betting odds for The Hundred 2021 season, and much more.

Explaining the Format – What is The Hundred?

Essentially, The Hundred was created to reach a wider audience.

Over the years, the popularity of cricket in Britain – especially the Test game – has arguably dwindled. The ECB is hoping the shorter format will attract more diverse crowds and reignite interest in the sport.

Here are the main rules and regulations of The Hundred.

  • As the name suggests, each innings is made up of 100 balls.
  • The fielding team changes ends after ten balls.
  • Bowlers deliver either five or ten consecutive balls, decided by the captain.
  • Each bowler can deliver a maximum of 20 balls per game.
  • The bowling side can take a strategic timeout, lasting no longer than 2mins 30secs.
  • Each team gets a 25-ball powerplay.
  • Only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle during the powerplay.
  • Each match should last around two and a half hours.

The Hundred Teams in 2021

The original draft for the inaugural season of The Hundred took place back in October 2019. Since then, several changes have been made, with different players entering and leaving the competition.

In February 2021, the final draft was completed and all the squads were finalized.

Each squad is made up of 15 players, with a maximum of three overseas players allowed in every team. Each side also has at least one England Test player, along with two “Local Icons”.

Let’s take a closer look at the teams for The Hundred 2021.

Birmingham Phoenix

  • Coach: Andrew McDonald
  • Captain: Moeen Ali
  • England central contract player: Chris Woakes
  • Local Icons: Moeen Ali, Pat Brown
  • Overseas players: Shaheen Afridi, Kane Williamson, Adam Zampa

The Birmingham Phoenix squad is packed with homegrown talent.

Captained by Moeen Ali and headlined by Chris Woakes, the Phoenix also boast guys like Dom Sibley and Liam Livingstone, who have both represented England in various formats of the game.

Kane Williamson – the world’s number-one ranked Test batsman – should prove to be an excellent acquisition, while Aussie spinner Adam Zampa and Pakistani paceman Shaheen Afridi complete the overseas picks.

Here is the 2021 Birmingham Phoenix squad in full.

BIRMINGHAM PHOENIX SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Daniel Bell-Drummond Tom Abell Henry Brookes
Chris Cooke Moeen Ali Pat Brown
Miles Hammond Benny Howell Tom Helm
Adam Hose Liam Livingstone Chris Woakes
Dom Sibley Shaheen Afridi
Kane Williamson Adam Zampa

London Spirit

  • Coach: Shane Warne
  • Captain: Eoin Morgan
  • England central contract player: Zak Crawley
  • Local Icons: Eoin Morgan, Dan Lawrence
  • Overseas players: Mohammad Amir, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Nabi

Australian legend Shane Warne will lead London Spirit into the maiden season of The Hundred, while compatriot Glenn Maxwell looks set to bring big-hitting firepower to the side.

The London franchise has several England internationals on board, both past and present, with Eoin Morgan, Joe Denly, Ravi Bopara, and Mark Wood adding a heap of experience to the squad.

If everything clicks for the Spirit, they could easily challenge for the title.

LONDON SPIRIT SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Zak Crawley Ravi Bopara Mohammad Amir
Joe Denly Mohammad Nabi Jade Dernbach
Dan Lawrence Luis Reece Mason Crane
Glen Maxwell Roelof van der Merwe Chris Wood
Eoin Morgan Mark Wood
Adam Rossington

Manchester Originals

  • Coach: Simon Katich
  • Captain: TBC
  • England central contract player: Jos Buttler
  • Local Icons: Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson
  • Overseas players: Nicholas Pooran, Shadab Khan, Kagiso Rabada

The Originals appear to have chosen their overseas players very wisely, covering every base. Nicholas Pooran is dynamite with the ball, Shadab Khan is a solid all-rounder, while Kagiso Rabada is a lethal quick.

On top of that, Jos Buttler is arguably one of the most devastating white-ball batsmen on the planet – and he’s a top wicketkeeper, too.

You can get a full look at the 2021 Manchester Originals squad below.

MANCHESTER ORIGINALS SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Jos Buttler Colin Ackermann Steven Finn
Joe Clarke Tom Lammonby Richard Gleeson
Wayne Madsen Jamie Overton Tom Hartley
Nicholas Pooran Shadab Khan Harry Gurney
Phil Salt Matt Parkinson
Kagiso Rabada

Rabada clinched the Purple Cap in the Indian Premier League last year, finishing the campaign with 30 wickets. You can check out all the 2020 IPL stat leaders in the post below.

Stat Leaders from the 2020 Indian Premier League Season

When it comes to the Indian Premier League, I love looking back at the player stats at the end of each season. We all know that the Orange Cap is awarded to the top run-scorer, while the leading wicket-taker wins the Purple Cap. But when you delve a little...

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Northern Superchargers

  • Coach: Darren Lehmann
  • Captain: Aaron Finch
  • England central contract player: Ben Stokes
  • Local Icons: Adil Rashid, David Willey
  • Overseas players: Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Personally, I can’t wait to watch the Superchargers in action.

In Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn, the Yorkshire franchise boasts a pair of destructive Aussie batsmen, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman – the team’s third overseas player – is an exciting young spinner from Afghanistan.

The headline act is undoubtedly Ben Stokes, though. The imperious all-rounder will line up alongside fellow England internationals such as David Willey, Adil Rashid, and Olly Stone.

NORTHERN SUPERCHARGERS SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Harry Brook Ben Stokes Brydon Carse
Aaron Finch David Willey Matthew Fisher
Tom Kohler-Cadmore Matty Potts
Chris Lynn Olly Stone
Adam Lyth Callum Parkinson
John Simpson Adil Rashid
Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Oval Invincibles

  • Coach: Tom Moody
  • Captain: TBC
  • England central contract player: Sam Curran
  • Local Icons: Tom Curran, Jason Roy
  • Overseas players: Colin Ingram, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sunil Narine

The Invincibles should be an extremely competitive team, especially if the Curran brothers can find their best form.

With Jason Roy and Rory Burns at the top of the order, the Oval-based outfit has the potential to score quick runs. Guys like Sam Billings, Colin Ingram, and Sunil Narine can also pile runs on the board at a rapid rate.

If the bowling attack can match the star-studded batting line-up, the Invincibles will surely challenge for the trophy.

Here is the 2021 Oval Invincibles squad.

OVAL INVINCIBLES SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Alex Blake Jordan Clark Brandon Glover
Rory Burns Sam Curran Saqib Mahmood
Laurie Evans Tom Curran Reece Topley
Will Jacks Colin Ingram Sandeep Lamichhane
Jason Roy Sunil Narine Nathan Sowter
Sam Billings

Southern Brave

  • Coach: Mahela Jayawardene
  • Captain: TBC
  • England central contract player: Jofra Archer
  • Local Icons: James Vince, Chris Jordan
  • Overseas players: Andre Russell, Marcus Stoinis, Aaron Finch

At first glance, the Southern Brave squad looks strong in every department.

James Vince and David Warner look set to forge a formidable partnership at the top of the order, while the prospect of Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan steaming in back-to-back is hugely exciting.

Better still, the Southampton franchise possess two genuinely world-class all-rounders – Andre Russell and Marcus Stoinis.

SOUTHERN BRAVE SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Delray Rawlins Liam Dawson Jofra Archer
James Vince George Garton Chris Jordan
David Warner Andre Russell Tymal Mills
Ross Whiteley Marcus Stoinis Craig Overton
Alex Davies Danny Briggs
Max Waller

Trent Rockets

  • Coach: Andy Flower
  • Captain: Lewis Gregory
  • England central contract player: Joe Root
  • Local Icons: Alex Hales, Harry Gurney
  • Overseas players: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rashid Khan, D’Arcy Short

In Rashid Khan, the Rockets have a true champion of franchise cricket in their ranks. The iconic leg-spinner has starred for Sunrisers Hyderabad (IPL) and Adelaide Strikers (BBL) in recent years and is destined to light up The Hundred in 2021.

Khan will be joined by Australia duo Nathan Coulter-Nile and D’Arcy Short, as well as England heroes such as Joe Root and Dawid Malan.

If Alex Hales can pick up where he left off for Sydney Thunder in BBL 10, he will almost certainly find himself among the top run-scorers in the competition.

Let’s not forget that Hales won the BBL 10 Golden Bat earlier in the year.

Stat Leaders from the 2020/21 Big Bash League Season

With the 2020/21 Big Bash League behind us, now feels like a good time to take a look at the stat leaders from BBL 10. The Sydney Sixers clinched the title, but it was Alex Hales (Sydney Thunder) who won the Golden Bat. On the flip side, Jyhe Richardson...

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Here is the inaugural Trent Rockets squad in full.

TRENT ROCKETS SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Joe Root Lewis Gregory Nathan Coulter-Nile
Alex Hales Steven Mullaney Timm van der Gugten
Dawid Malan Samit Patel Luke Wood
D’Arcy Short Matt Carter
Luke Wright Rashid Khan
Ben Cox
Tom Moores

Welsh Fire

  • Coach: Gary Kirsten
  • Captain: TBC
  • England central contract player: Ollie Pope
  • Local Icons: Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow
  • Overseas players: Qais Ahmad, Kieron Pollard, Jhye Richardson

On paper, the Welsh franchise probably looks like the weakest squad in the competition. That said, the Fire still have plenty of big-name stars to choose from.

Kieron Pollard recently became just the third international cricketer to hit 6 sixes in a single over, so he needs no introduction.

Homegrown heroes like Jonny Bairstow and Liam Plunkett add vast experience to the group, while Jhye Richardson has gained a reputation as one of the world’s best white-ball speedsters.

WELSH FIRE SQUAD – THE HUNDRED (2021)
Batsmen All-Rounders Bowlers
Tom Banton Josh Cobb Jake Ball
Ian Cockbain Matt Critchley David Payne
Ben Duckett Ryan Higgins Liam Plunkett
Ollie Pope David Lloyd Jhye Richardson
Jonny Bairstow Kieron Pollard Qais Ahmad

The Hundred 2021 Winner Odds

Of course, it is difficult to predict how each team will fare at this stage. However, that hasn’t stopped the best online sports betting sites from releasing their odds for the winner of The Hundred in 2021.

The Hundred 2021 winner odds below are courtesy of Betway’s sportsbook.

Northern Superchargers5.00
London Spirit6.00
Oval Invincibles7.00
Brimingham Phoenix8.00
Manchester Originals8.00
Southern Brave8.00
Trent Rockets8.00
Welsh Fire9.00

Ben Stokes’ Superchargers are the bookmakers’ current favorites to win The Hundred in 2021, with the two London franchises following close behind.

As you can see, the bookies can barely separate the other five teams at the moment, although the Fire are viewed as the outsiders for now.

Given that all eight squads are packed with world-class stars, the tournament is set to be fiercely contested.

Looking Ahead to The Hundred in 2021

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for The Hundred to get underway.

Not all cricket purists around the world have taken kindly to the new tournament, with many believing that the shorter format will hamper the Test game even more.

But in my eyes, The Hundred seems like a great way to get more people interested in cricket – and that can only be a good thing for the sport.

If you’re looking for more content like this, make sure you check out our cricket blog.

Not only do we cover several worldwide tournaments, including the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash League, but we also provide regular updates on other cricketing topics.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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