England skipper Knight sees The Hundred as a step towards equality in cricket
The first stage of the selection process for cricket's new format "The Hundred" has taken place and England captain Heather Knight says it is a step towards making cricket gender-neutral.
Speaking at the launch, World Cup winning captain Knight said: "This is a brilliant opportunity for the women's game - and a brilliant opportunity to make cricket gender-neutral.
"Kids growing up will look at The Hundred and see men and women level-pegging," she added.
Women's cricket is currently in a state of limbo with the discontinuation of the Kia Super League and uncertainty over the future of county cricket, but Knight is confident that The Hundred will contribute to the regrowth of the women's game.
"It's going to be a brilliant platform for the game and hopefully it's a brilliant competition that gets lots of people watching and lots of people playing," she said.
"I think 2020 is shaping up to be a really exciting year for the development of women's cricket, and The Hundred will be central to us getting more people watching, playing and following the game.
"It's exciting to have the opportunity to play with different players from home and overseas and it should make a great spectacle," she finished.
The hundred-ball competition, which gets underway in 2020, will have eight new teams with the same names for the women's and the men's sides and players from all over the world competing.
Whereas the men's selection involves an American-style draft, the women's teams are selected over a two-stage selection process with two centrally contracted England players being chosen for each team so far.
"Our system is slightly different from the men's as we don't have a draft but it's a free-market, so I'm excited to see what the team looks like," said Knight.
"The two England Women's players have been picked for each team and there are still 13 gaps to fill," she added.
This second selection process opened on October 1 and continues until May 2020 where teams can fill their squad with players from three pools: remaining centrally contracted England players, overseas players and domestic players. Teams can select a maximum of three overseas players and one further centrally contracted England player.
The Teams and their selections so far are as follows:
Birmingham Phoenix - Amy Jones & Kirstie Gordon
London Spirit - Heather Knight & Freya Davies
Manchester Originals - Kate Cross & Sophie Ecclestone
Northern Superchargers - Lauren Winfield & Linsey Smith
Oval Invincibles - Laura Marsh & Fran Wilson
Southern Brave - Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt
Trent Rockets - Nat Sciver & Katherine Brunt
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