Launch of the Hundred Cricket – What a hit for Six!

By James Knight.

With the European Championships and now the Olympics, this summer has been a great winner for sports fans. Being lover of cricket, The Hundred has most certainly been a welcome addition.

The Hundred is a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament involving eight men’s and women’s teams. Located in major cities across England and Wales, in a round robin league and playoffs.

Over the weekend I watched for the first time and it was a new sensation. The Hundred is cricket not as we know it. It’s a PR blast, with coloured outfits, DJs playing music at times, white coloured ball and attacking cricket, they have pinched many of the ideas from American football. It has, as the great Quincy Jones says, real Razzamatazz.

The teams from different areas of Britain, not just the traditional county teams and have lively names like Welsh Fire, Oval Invincible, Manchester Originals, London Spirit, Trent Rockets, Birmingham Phoenix, Southern Brave, and Northern Chargers. It’s a knockout affair with the final being played at Lords later this month.

Not only is the men’s game, the women’s game is also playing, introducing the sport in many instances to a new audience. It is also a ‘Family Affair’ with children decked out in multi-coloured caps, shirts, the audience is very diverse also, making it a great day out.

I am not going to explain the rules, watch it to see how different it is from the traditional whites.

I was brought up on cricket with Ian Botham, lost interest along the way, but the commentators for the Hundred really bring the game into the 21st century. Isa Guha really knows her cricket and Michael Vaughan and Phil Tufnell are a great comedy double act.

It’s a great PR exercise of transformation sport, there is even a DJ, fire jets. The question I ask is will it come to the Long Room at Lords?

Professor James Knight is an international businessman, public relations practitioners and academic. He was Fellow of Bournemouth University Public Relations School, guest speaker at Judge Cambridge, Surrey, Bath and Reading, International Mentor for Oxford Brookes on Hospitality. He is a Fellow of CIPR and the Society of Public Relations of America, as well as a fellow of the Institute of Directors.

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