The Hundred: Charlotte Edwards says delay worrying for women’s cricket

Women’s cricket risks losing momentum after the launch of The Hundred competition was postponed until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic, former England captain Charlotte Edwards said.

The women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia proved a massive success earlier this year with an 86,000-plus crowd watching the hosts beat India in the March 8 final in Melbourne.

The global health crisis has since halted professional cricket and the England and Wales Cricket Board last week decided to postpone The Hundred, which was scheduled to begin in mid-July.

“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 final.

“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 cricketers, and it’s all been put on hold at the moment.”

For several female cricketers without contracts in England, the new league was to be their only source of income this year.

The ECB still plans to award 40 new full-time contracts at some stage as part of a plan to invest £20m in the women’s game.

“For the players, it’s a worrying time,” Edwards added.

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