Joe Root backs plans for women’s match to open new competition The Hundred


England Test captain Joe Root has praised plans to kick off The Hundred with a women’s match and is ready to tune in for tips when it launches in 50 days.

Having been postponed during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the tournament is set to get under way on July 21 when Kate Cross’ Manchester Originals visit the Oval Invincibles.

That is a full 24 hours before the same fixture starts the men’s event and further evidence of a commitment to giving both competitions an equal billing.

Root is preparing to lead out his country against New Zealand at Lord’s on Wednesday and while that is the first of seven men’s Tests this summer, it has taken England Women a decade to play the same number.

Things have moved quicker in short-form cricket and Root, who will turn out for Trent Rockets, feels it is apt that the men should cede the stage for day one of the new 100-ball innovation.

“It’s a great opportunity for the women’s game and what a chance to show how far and how quickly the women’s game is growing in this country,” Root told the PA news agency.

“This is just another step in taking the women’s game forward. I’ll definitely be watching that first match and I’m sure most guys from the men’s tournament will be because it’s the first real opportunity to see how the format will unfold.

“I think one of the greatest things about it is the platform it’s giving the women’s game, with both tournaments running alongside one another. That’s great, hopefully they do bounce off one another.

“The more that we can grow the game the better. That’s exactly what we want as players, we want as many people involved in the sport as possible and to see some entertainment.”