The England & Wales Cricket Board has announced that The Hundred women’s competition in 2021 will be played across the same eight venues due to host the men’s competition. The operational implications of Covid-19 are cited as the reasons behind the decision.
The 1st Central County Ground, which had been scheduled to host two Southern Brave fixtures and the final of the women’s competition in 2020, will not be a venue for the The Hundred next summer as a result.
Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew said: “While we understand the significant operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s news is nonetheless hugely disappointing.
“Everyone at Sussex Cricket as well as the ever-increasing number of supporters of the women’s game in the county were really looking forward to hosting two Southern Brave fixtures as well as the women’s final at The 1st Central County Ground.
“Alongside our partners Aldridge Foundation, a huge amount of work has been done to grow participation and interest in women’s and girls’ cricket in Sussex in recent years.
"This has been reflected in significant increases in player numbers, growth in the number of school visits and women’s cricket festivals delivered by our community coaches, record numbers of trialists for county age-group squads, first-class training and playing facilities for the Sussex women and girls squads at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, numerous England honours for Sussex players at senior and academy levels and record crowds for women’s matches played at The 1st Central County Ground.
"The awarding of multiple matches in The Hundred, including the first ever women’s final, was further testament to Sussex’s position as the home of women’s cricket.
“Despite today’s setback, Sussex Cricket remains fully committed to the continued promotion of women’s and girls’ cricket and with the fantastic support of the Aldridge Foundation, we will continue to invest in the game at recreational and elite levels.
“We note with optimism that the eight-venue model for The Hundred will be reviewed after 2021 and will do all we can to bring matches in the competition to Hove in the seasons that follow.
“In the meantime, supporters will still be able to watch top-level women’s cricket in Sussex in 2021, whether it be Sussex Women at BACA or Southern Vipers at The 1st Central County Ground in the new regional domestic competitions. We sincerely hope that we will be able to welcome as many spectators as possible to these fixtures.”