Three years after the idea for the unique 100-ball tournament was unveiled, it came to life when the Oval Invincibles Women hosted Manchester Originals at the Kia Oval on Wednesday at the inaugural The Hundred competition. While the ECB’s new offering has attracted a host of star players from the shores of India, South Africa and West Indies, most importantly, it is being touted to put women players on an even footing with the men’s game.
For the Manchester Originals captain Kate Cross, the concept is an “amazing night for women’s cricket” and is the most equal competition that she’s played a part in so far in her career. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Cross said that she is “looking forward to actually play some cricket,” and stop talking about it for a while. “The cricket is the cricket. We’ve said as a team that that it will pretty much take care of itself,” she asserted.
The England bowler recalled how the women’s cricket scene “wasn’t really a thing" when she was kid. And it was never an ambition for her to get to play in front of a packed crowd at The Oval and “make history,” she added. However, the 29-year-old considers herto be very lucky to be a part of “generation of cricketers” who were given a chance to do things for the first time. Nevertheless, Cross is of the opinion that The Hundred may or may not “revolutionise” the game of cricket, but thinks it is a great opportunity to “get out there,” and “give it a go for the first time.”
When the conversation touched upon equal prize money and equal pay, Cross said she “absolutely believes” that the new tournament will serve as a “massive stepping stone” for women’s cricket.
Brushing off comparisons with the men, Cross suggested the way “to go until we’re at a complete level footing with the guys.” She further explained that the tournament is just a day old and it will be shame if anything else other than cricket is discussed. However, the pacer considers that the tournament helps in pushing the game forward, allows more girls to participate and are more comfortable with money, then it is also a “positive thing” that has come out of it.