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The Hundred becomes most watched event in women's cricket history

The ECB has announced that The Hundred saw a total of 16.1m people tune in to ‘some of the action’ TV alone.

According to the governing body, of those watching the action on Sky or the BBC, 57% hadn’t watched any other live ECB cricket in 2021.

The competition ended at the weekend in front of a sell-out Lord’s crowd who witnessed the Oval Invincibles win the women’s competition, with the Southern Brave taking the men’s title. The TV audience, meanwhile, peaked at 1.4m for the women’s game, with the men’s game drawing a peak crowd of 2.4m.

Overall, around 510,000 tickets were sold and issued for the competition, with grounds across the country posting sell-outs and 19% of all tickets sold being for children. ECB analysis shows that 55% of ticket buyers had not bought a ticket for cricket in England or Wales previously.

The competition was also a significant moment for the women’s game in particular, as it achieved the highest attendance for a women’s cricket event globally ever, according to the ECB. 267,000 people attended women’s games throughout the competition, with the previous record set at the women’s T20 World Cup in Australia in February and March of 2020, where 136,000 attended just prior to the coronavirus lockdown.

In conjunction with spectator and viewer figures, the ECB also claim massive success with merchandise sales, with replica kits selling out from club shops. More than 28,000 items of merchandise have been sold, including 7,000 items of team kit and training-wear.

Meanwhile, The Hundred is ‘on course’ to bring in revenue of around £50m – giving a surplus of £10m to invest back into cricket.

The news comes after the ECB announced a record breaking year for recreational cricket, with a 900% increase in children playing All Stars and Dynamos cricket compared with previous years - a figure which is partly due to the introduction of the Dynamos programme.

“The Hundred is all about throwing cricket’s doors open – and we’ve seen in year one how it’s already delivering,” said Tom Harrison, CEO, ECB. “It’s provided outstanding entertainment for new and existing fans alike, unearthed new cricketing heroes, and it’s been fantastic to see so many children and families enjoying the action. It’s also changed the game for women’s cricket, smashing record after record and creating role models for girls and boys to be inspired by". “We need to grow cricket, reach more people and inspire more children to pick up a bat and ball – and that’s exactly what The Hundred does".

If we’ve got more people playing the game, we have more county and Test stars of the future. That’s why we need to build on the success of this year and come back even better in 2022. “The Hundred couldn’t have been the success it has been this year without the incredible support of Sky and the BBC, our commercial partners, the host venues, the wider cricket network and so many more people, and we’re grateful to all of them.”

Author: Paula Holguin

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