The Hundred will no longer be hosted across all 18 first-class counties as planned, under cost-cutting proposals being worked on by the ECB.
In a commitment to take the postponed 100-ball competition to all parts of English cricket’s traditional map, the women’s competition was due to take in stand-alone fixtures at smaller county grounds like Derby and Hove and outgrounds such as Beckenham and York.
However, matches are to be re-located to the Category A venues like the Kia Oval, Emirates Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston with more double-headers – when the men and women’s teams play on the same day – arranged.
An ECB source suggested that the developments were ‘far from ideal’ but compromise has been necessary at a time when the governing body is required to make huge savings and undergo a substantial redundancy programme.
The women’s game is at the heart of a format that the ECB hope will deliver an entirely different family event experience – although it will no longer reach as far and wide as once was envisaged, if it is launched 12 months late in 2021.