Hundred delays will steal women's game from Momentum, fears Charlotte Edwards
London: women Cricket runs the risk of losing momentum after the launch of The One hundred competition was postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ex England captain Charlotte Edwards said.
The Women's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia was a huge success this year with over 86,000 spectators watching the hosts beat India in the final on March 8 in Melbourne.
The global health crisis has since halted professional Cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board ( ECB ) last week decided to postpone The One hundred , which was scheduled to begin in mid-July.
The ground-breaking franchise-based league includes an American sports-style draft and features eight city-based men's and women's teams with names like London Spirit, Manchester Originals and Trent Rockets.
"There are so many mixed emotions really," Edwards, who led England to Twenty20 and one-day World Cup titles in 2009, told BBC World Service.
"Obviously it's the right decision but it was such an important year for women's Cricket on the back of the hugely successful World Cup in Australia, where nearly 90,000 people watched the game.
"We just really felt the momentum was with the women's game and we were also going to introduce contracts this summer for 40 professional Cricket ers, and it's all been put on hold at the moment," the 40-year-old said.
MAJOR CRICKET-new 2
For several uncontracted female Cricket ers in England , the new league was to be their only source of income this year.
"A lot of players were hoping to have contracts for the One 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 ," Edwards said.
The ECB still plans to award 40 new full-time contracts at some stage as part of a plan to invest 20 million pound ($24.9 million) in the women's game.
"We have been guaranteed that the ECB will still go ahead with their 20 million pound investment into the women's game, which is something that is obviously keeping us all going at the moment," Edwards said.