Hundred fever takes hold as youth cricket programs enjoy record participation levels

All Stars Cricket

Ollie Phillips

The ECB's All Stars Cricket and Dynamos initiatives for 5-8 year-olds and 8-11 year-olds respectively have both enjoyed remarkable numbers of participation this summer, according to Sky Sports. The schemes provide young children with the opportunity to receive coaching at local clubs and facilities all over the country. Dynamos is a program directly linked to the Hundred, introducing the concpet of countdown cricket and offering visits to the country's biggest cricket grounds.

The numbers have been particularly strong amongst girls and children from ethnically diverse backgrounds, and were complimented by encouraging numbers amongst adult participation, with 10,000 more games played than in the breakthrough summer of 2019, when England won the 50-over world cup.

738 more events found their way into Women's Big Cricket Month in June, designed to inspire young women and girls to get into the game. These figures are all hugely encouraging for a sport which in 2020 looked to be fighting a losing grassroots battle with golf due to its lack of accessibility. Thanks to schemes such as this and the penetrability of the Hundred, thousands more are beginning to see cricket as a game for them.