Cricket was quickly becoming one of those games. One that was outdated and out of favour. Of course, the traditional fan base was still there but trying to bring in new blood was getting difficult. With the likes of football and rugby matches done and dusted in 80-90 minutes, youngsters weren’t overly excited at the prospect of a cricket match that ran for days. That’s where The Hundred comes in.
The Hundred came about to breathe new life into the sport. Suddenly the game was that much more exciting. Rather than lasting what seems an eternity, and let’s be honest, we live with a generation of wanting it all now, a match is over in around an hour. Cricket is now an afternoon out. The other benefit is that the game is now fast-paced and a fast-paced game makes it an ideal sport to bet on.
The Rise of Sports
Sports betting has always been popular. Long before online sportsbooks were even a thought, those wanting to places a wager on the outcome of an event would happily spend time in a land-based bookie. What makes a sport popular with gamblers is the tension and excitement that it creates. Football, American football, and rugby all deliver here, but cricket was a different matter. Betting on the outcome of a match that was going to take days to complete was hardly the excitement that those placing bets were seeking. The Hundred has changed all of this.
Since The Hundred was launched the fast pace makes it much more suited to bet on. While once we would be waiting what seemed forever for the result of India cricket matches, punters now know if they’ve landed a win in an hour.
A growing TV audience
Along with an increased fan base comes an increased television audience. Like many sports that punters gamble on, they like to see the event take place from start to finish so they can see if they have won. A three-day test match made this slightly impractical, to say the least. A 65 minutes match has changed all of that. The increase in popularity of the sport is of huge benefit to the sport itself. Why? Popularity means revenue!
A growing TV audience sees channels bidding for the rights to show the matches. As well as this, there is suddenly an increase in the companies looking to sponsor matches. These companies know that their names are in the spotlight when displayed during a high-profile sporting event. The Hundred provides just that and has turned the finances of cricket around.
Is The Hundred here to stay?
For traditionalists, there will no doubt be a level of resistance against what The Hundred brings to the sport. That being said, this resistance is unlikely to be strong enough to signal an end to what is quickly becoming mainstream cricket. The growing fan base and increased revenue are reasons enough for the sport to ensure that this version of the game stays.
Other sports have sought to add to the excitement on offer and failed. Football, for instance, tried to put an end to how extra time played out and introduced the Golden Goal. This was short-lived and quickly ditched as an idea. Cricket however seems to have it right. The Hundred allows players to demonstrate their skills as sportsmen but in a fashion that can keep more fans entertained. It makes perfect sense for this version of the sport to be around for a long time to come.