The Hundred draft: What is it? When is it? How will the draft work?

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What is The Hundred?
The Hundred - main draft
Date: 20 October Time: 19:00 BST
Coverage: Live stream and text commentary of the draft on iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app

The first steps towards next summer's The Hundred competition were taken on Thursday as 40 men and women were drafted by the eight new teams.

So what next?

England heroes Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole have been picked - and now it's the turn of the world's elite.

Steve Smith, Chris Gayle and co are next to be drafted - could they end up in Leeds, Nottingham, Southampton or Cardiff?

What is The Hundred?

It's all very simple. It's a new competition in which eight freshly formed teams, representing seven cities from around the UK, compete against each other. Each team has both a men's and women's side.

The format of matches? That's simple too: 100 balls per team, most runs wins.

When is it?

In an effort to attract more families to the game, the competition will be played in the school summer holidays - from 17 July to 16 August, 2020. Teams will play each other once, apart from their paired 'rivals', whom they meet twice (home and away). There will be 32 league matches in total, with the top three finishers competing in the Finals Day (top team automatically reaches the final, with second versus third for the other spot in the final).

The paired rivals (play each other twice) are: Leeds and Manchester, the two London teams, Birmingham and Nottingham and Southampton and Cardiff.

Who will Ben Stokes and England's other World Cup winners play for?

Ben Stokes Headingley shot
Ben Stokes was selected by Northern Superchargers in the competition's initial draft
TeamMen's playersWomen's players
Birmingham PhoenixChris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Pat BrownAmy Jones, Kirstie Gordon
London SpiritRory Burns, Dan Lawrence, Eoin MorganHeather Knight, Freya Davies
Manchester OriginalsJos Buttler, Saqib Mahmood, Matt ParkinsonKate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone
Northern SuperchargersBen Stokes, Adil Rashid, David WilleyLauren Winfield, Linsey Smith
Oval InvinciblesSam Curran, Tom Curran, Jason RoyLaura Marsh, Fran Wilson
Southern BraveJofra Archer, Chris Jordan, James VinceAnya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt
Trent RocketsJoe Root, Harry Gurney, Alex HalesNat Sciver, Katherine Brunt
Welsh FireJonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Colin IngramKatie George, Bryony Smith

How about the main draft?

Jofra Archer and Steve Smith
Steve Smith and Jofra Archer were involved in some fascinating duels during last summer's Ashes

On 20 October, the remaining places in the 15-man squads will be filled via a full draft - West Indies batsman Chris Gayle and Australia duo David Warner and Steve Smith have made themselves available for the tournament.

There are seven set salary bands, with up to two players to be picked at each of the following: £125,000, £100,000, £75,000, £60,000, £50,000, £40,000 and £30,000. Captains will receive a bonus of £10,000.

Players are able to select a minimum salary band at which they are willing to play at, but if that reserve price is not met they will not be selected during the main draft.

A pre-draft draw has determined the order in which each team will pick their players. Trent Rockets - new home of England Test skipper Joe Root - will go first.

Grid depicting how the main draft will work for The Hundred
Trent Rockets will have the first pick in the draft, which then snakes around the sides as so

Teams will be able to select a maximum of three overseas players but there is no limit to the number of players from any county or country.

All of the world's biggest names - with the exception of current India internationals - are expected to make themselves available so brace yourself for 'Jofra Archer versus Steve Smith: Part Two'.

Following the main draft, each team will have the opportunity for a final 'wildcard' pick, to be chosen during next year's T20 Blast. That player will receive a £30,000 contract.

What about the women's draft?

Former England captain Charlotte Edwards with a trophy in her playing days
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards will coach the Southampton-based women's team

Two women have already been picked by each team.

Stage two of the player selection process (1 October 2019 - 30 May 2020) for the women's game will see each team fill the remaining 13 spaces in their squad from across three different player pools: the remaining England centrally contracted players, overseas players and domestic players.

Teams can sign one further England centrally contracted player during stage two and can sign a maximum of three overseas players.

The women's seven salary brackets are: £15,000, £12,000, £9,000, £7,200, £6,000, £4,800 and £3,600. The captains will receive a £1,200 bonus.

Are they ditching overs?

The beauty of a new tournament will be that everyone will have to figure out new tactics.

The 100 balls can be bowled in blocks of five or 10 by bowlers, who have the option of switching ends halfway through a 10-ball spell.

The maximum number of balls a bowler can deliver is 20, with each fielding team allowed a 150-second tactical timeout.

Oh, and there will be a batting powerplay for the first 25 balls, in which only two fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

The matches themselves should be fast and furiously exhilarating - in trial matches held last summer, innings were taking fractionally over one hour to complete.

And just like your favourite bingewatch, the next innings will automatically play soon after - there'll be no 40-minute intervals for lunch!

How can I follow it all?

The BBC Sport website will host a live stream and text commentary on the main draft on 20 October.

Next summer, the BBC will have live television coverage of two England men's international T20 matches, one England women's T20 international, plus live TV coverage of 10 men's matches from The Hundred and up to eight live matches from the women's Hundred tournament, including both finals.

It all amounts to - appropriately - 100 hours of cricket back on BBC television, also including highlights of England's international matches each evening.

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