The Hundred ball format cricket, which finally came to life this week after four years of ideation, turned out to be a super-hit in the first two matches as it didnt just boost the viewership of womens cricket but was also the most-watched cricket match this year in England.

According to Sky Sports, the opening match between Oval Invincibles (women) and Manchester Originals (women) on Wednesday night “was the most-watched women’s cricket match in UK history drawing a peak audience of 1.95 million viewers”.

The inaugural men’s match between the two franchises – Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals – which featured the likes of Sam Curran, Jos Buttler, and Sunil Narine on Thursday night was the most-watched cricket match of the year. With a peak of 2.5 million viewership on Sky and BBC, it had higher viewership than England’s T20 International.

The Hundred format comes just over 18 years after the first-ever official T20 match was played – on June 13, 2003.

The T20 format, which also took birth in England, has pushed ODI cricket to the fence. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is looking at ways to help the 50-over format survive.

Going by the initial trends, the Hundred ball format is looking like it is one for the future and if it continues to prosper, the T20 format could be replaced by it in certain countries.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted that pessimists have been proven wrong in the past about T20 format and the day-Night Test cricket.

“In 2003 people said T20 wouldn’t last … A few yrs later people said Day/Night Test cricket wouldn’t last … I get a sense the same people are saying the 100 won’t survive or they are praying it’s a flop … it’s just Cricket & if you love cricket should enjoy the 100 #OnOn,” Vaughan tweeted on the day the tournament began.

–IANS

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