The ECB's Impact of Cricket Report was published on Tuesday, showing 717 new women's and girls' teams were established during 2023, a 20 per cent increase in the last year; there was an improvement in attendance at England Women international matches, 122,000, an increase on 51,000 in 2022
Tuesday 28 November 2023 20:29, UK
Private investment in The Hundred would only strengthen the position of women's cricket, according to ECB chief executive Richard Gould.
The ECB's Impact of Cricket Report was published on Tuesday, with one of the highlights showing 717 new women's and girls' teams were established during 2023, a 20 per cent increase in the last year.
The total attendance at the Women's Hundred was more than 310,000, while there was also an increase in those watching England Women international matches to 122,000, up from 51,000 in 2022.
Discussions continue over investment in The Hundred, which has been played over the school summer holidays. Gould, though, is confident a consensus will be reached to ultimately help "correct decades where we have abandoned women in our sport".
He said: "In terms of investment coming into The Hundred, into cricket, when you look at the number of tickets sold this summer, for the Ashes this year for men and women, and the interest that was there, investment follows interest.
"I think there is now a huge recognition that this is an investment opportunity as well as the opportunity to correct decades where we have abandoned women in our sport.
"I think it is a perfect coming together over the next five to 10 years.
"Broadcasters and sponsors want to be connected to a game where there is genuine equality for men and women, and that is what everybody wants."
Gould added: "We are having lots of really good conversations with the clubs. The direction of travel is that investment will go into the teams rather than the competition.
"There is probably another two-to-three months worth of discussions, but there is lots of great debate, lots of great ideas going forward and I am confident that we will always find a consensus."