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New cricket competition The Hundred launches - so what is it and who's in it?

The Hundred is a new cricket competition aiming to attract new fans. Credit: PA/ECB

The first players have been selected for the inaugural edition of cricket's new innovation The Hundred, an eight-team competition spread across five weeks that is set to launch next summer.

England's Test stars were picked in the first stage of the draft process on Thursday, with 'icon' players from each side's catchment area also chosen, while the team names were finally confirmed.

Ben Stokes was chosen ahead of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow by the Leeds-based Northern Superchargers, meaning the Yorkshire pair will not compete for their 'home' side in The Hundred.

And, England's new pace weapon, Jofra Archer has joined Southern Brave, based at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

The 90mph-plus fast bowler had ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent in his sights at the launch...

The England and Wales Cricket Board's brainchild has led to some controversy since it was announced as a new format, consisting of 100 balls per side with traditional six-ball overs banished.

So, how does it all work?

An entirely new format - cricket's fourth - designed by the England and Wales Cricket Board. The idea is to inject fresh life into the sport domestically, building on the existing fanbase with a particular emphasis on bringing families and women into the fold.

There has been some criticism from supporters of the county game but the gambit has been well received by broadcasters.

When will we see it?

The inaugural edition of the tournament will begin on July 17, 2020, lasting for five weeks thoughout the prime school holiday period. The men's and women's competitions will run concurrently with some double headers.

What are the teams?

The traditional county lines have been abandoned in favour of city-based franchises.

The eight destinations were already known, but on Thursday they were formally named. London Spirit (Middlesex, Essex, Northamptonshire), Oval Invincibles (Surrey, Kent), Welsh Fire (Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Somerset), Northern Superchargers (Yorkshire, Durham), Manchester Originals (Lancashire), Trent Rockets (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire), Southern Brave (Hampshire, Sussex), Birmingham Phoenix (Warwickshire, Worcestershire).

Ben Stokes was thought a better pick than his skipper Joe Root. Credit: PA

How do they look?

The shirts are full of big, bright and bold colours, with each sponsored by a different KP snack.

It is certainly a more garish sight than most cricket fans will be used to but the designs tack closer to those seen in the Indian Premier League and the Big Bash in Australia, where they have proved a hit.

Which players have been chosen?

On Thursday, all teams selected one centrally contracted men's player, two 'local icons' and two centrally contracted women.

Is everyone on familiar turf?

No. While some sides had it easy when they picked their Test star, Northern Superchargers had to choose between England World Cup hero Ben Stokes, the England Test skipper Joe Root and wicketkeeper/batsman Jonny Bairstow and went with Stokes.

That left Root and Bairstow up for grabs and they ended up at Trent Rockets and Welsh Fire respectively. Rory Burns, meanwhile, will be heading to Lord's after Oval Invincibles chose Sam Curran instead.

Joe Root was picked up by the Trent Rockets. Credit: PA

How big are those picks?

Not that big in terms of the competition, with England commitments restricting the Test players to just three group games and potentially finals day.

The big names will be more useful for the marketing men as they seek to grab attention and build their brands from scratch.

When do the rest of the players get picked?

The men's 15-strong rosters will be filled out at a draft on October 20. The event will be shown live over two hours on Sky Sports, with seven salary bands ranging from £125,000 to £30,000.

An additional wildcard pick can be made next year.

The women's teams will sign 13 more players from three designated pools in the coming months.

Kate Cross is one of the women stars of The Hundred. Credit: PA/ECB

Will there be international talent?

Organisers have been pleased by the overseas interest in the draft, with the likes of Steve Smith, Chris Gayle, David Warner, Rashid Khan, Babar Azam, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson and Kagiso Rabada among the major draws.

Where can people see it?

There are eight host venues for the men's competition - Lord's, The Oval, Old Trafford, Headingley, Cardiff, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston and the Ageas Bowl.

A further 11 grounds will host games in the women's event. The tournament also marks the return of top level cricket on regular free-to-air television.

While the whole campaign will be broadcast by Sky Sports, a selection of 10 men's matches and up to eight women's matches - including finals - will be shown on the BBC.