England all-rounder Ben Stokes says he wants to “inspire the next generation” of young boys and girls to play cricket as he looks ahead to the launch of The Hundred competition this summer. The Hundred features eight brand new teams based in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton and two in London.
“The women starting off the competition is a great thing for the game,” Stokes said. “It’s not only what the men have achieved in reaching a new audience, but what the women have managed to achieve over the last five to six years has been amazing as well.”
“Our performances on the pitch are what we get analysed on, but what resonates through both the men’s and the women’s game is we want to inspire the next generation of cricketers coming through – young boys and girls up and down the country, and all around the world for that matter,” he added.
Stokes and England played in front of a socially-distanced crowd of roughly 15,000 fans in their second Test defeat in Chennai. “I completely forgot how loud it was in India; it’s deafening,” Stokes said, “Especially when 100 per cent of them are chanting Virat [Kohli], Rohit [Sharma] or [Ravi] Ashwin.”