Edwards: Progress of women's cricket will be hit by postponement of The Hundred
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards fears the potential impact the postponement of The Hundred will have on the women's game.
The launch season of the new tournament has been delayed until 2021 as a result of ongoing uncertainty around coronavirus.
The eight city-based franchises - including the Southern Brave one centred around Hampshire and Sussex - were the same across both the men's and women's editions and there were high hopes it would lead to a major boost in exposure for the latter.
Equal prize pots offered a step towards parity and, even though the size of the lowest men's contract (£30,000) was higher than the top women's deal (£15,000), for some players it was due to be the only payday of the summer.
Edwards, who was signed up as head coach of Southern Brave, said: ‘A lot of people are out of work.
‘A lot of players were hoping to have contracts for The Hundred, which were quite lucrative for some of them, and everyone's going to miss out which is so unfortunate and at such an important time for women's cricket.
‘For the players, it's a worrying time. But we have been guaranteed that the ECB will still go ahead with their £20million investment into the women's game, which is something that is obviously keeping us all going at the moment.
‘This year was going to be hugely exciting for the game and important, and it's good that it will go ahead - but it being delayed is going to prove to be a problem for some of the players.
‘It's not ideal, but everyone's health and well-being is more important at this time.’
Two of the Brave women’s home games were due to be played at the County Ground in Hove, with one at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl. In addition, the semi-final and final were also due to be played at Hove.
Brave had already signed West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor, former New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates and current England opener Danni Wyatt for this summer’s event.
All three had previously played for the Southern Vipers T20 team in the Kia Women’s Super League.
Pompey fan Anya Shrubsole had also signed up - she was one of two centrally contracted England internationals at the franchise along with Wyatt.
The winners of the 2020 men’s and women’s Hundred were both due to share £150,000, with the runners-up sharing £75,000.
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