Manchester Originals star Phoebe Graham says the women’s competition in The Hundred will be “exceptionally competitive” but feels her side have “all elements of the game covered”…
There’s no time to feel sad about the Ashes ending or Stuart Broad’s last dance because The Hundred is starting!
The fastest and most explosive game in world cricket is back and what a way to finish an awesome summer of cricket.
The Hundred build-up has been short and sweet due to the frantic cricket schedule and the majority of teams met for the first time this weekend.
After a huge shuffle up across the women’s game, I’m excited to be wearing the Manchester Original colours for the second year in a row. It was brilliant to meet with the Originals at Emirates Old Trafford on Saturday.
We had our traditional team meeting with the men and women where new head coach Stephen Parry shared with us what it meant to be a Mancunian and Sophie Ecclestone and Jos Buttler presented caps to the new players joining the squad.
The draft process in the women’s game meant that teams could retain the players and had the ‘right to match’ one player. Only four players are guaranteed to be the same which means that the squads are a lot more evenly phased.
Oval Invincibles women have dominated the tournament for the past two years but they’ve lost a few players through the draft process including Shabnim Ismail, who is now playing for Welsh Fire. The draft process was so important for the overall competition.
‘Originals have all elements of game covered’
Our first game is on Wednesday against Welsh Fire, who have only won two games in two years. But reviewing their team, they are a whole new outfit through the signings of Ismail, Georgia Elwiss, Freya Davies and Sophia Dunkley. The new squad looks healthy but beatable.
Originals have a different feel with some new gun overseas signings. The competition’s leading run-scorers and wicket-takers are now with the OG’s: South Africa batter Laura Wolvaardt and Australia spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington.
Not to forget the retained Deandra Dottin from West Indies, who has the ability to dominate attacks and send the ball into the crowds. From our limited time together, it feels like we have all elements of the game covered: depth, power, pace and spin.
I last played with Wolvaardt at Northern Superchargers and with that exquisite cover drive, she is the type of player you would much rather play with than against.
The OG’s will miss the wonderful character and player of Kate Cross. She was a top-tier pick for the Northern Superchargers and will go from being a brilliant team-mate to an arch rival!
As for captains, our team will be led by the world’s No 1 spinner in Sophie Eccelstone, with the support of the magician of a wicketkeeper in Ellie Threlkeld.
The games come thick and fast and the talent is evenly spread so all the games will be exceptionally competitive. There will be ups and downs, but having bouncebackability alongside composure in the big pressure moments is key to winning the tournament.
What to watch on Sky Sports this week
Enjoy live action from the EFL, The Hundred and more with NOW
Sheffield Wednesday vs Southampton – August 4 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Celtic vs Ross County – August 5 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Kilmarnock vs Rangers – August 5 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Leicester vs Coventry – August 6 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Leeds vs Cardiff – August 6 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
Sunderland vs Ipswich – August 6 – LIVE on Sky Sports Football
The Hundred – August 1 to 27 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
Netball World Cup – July 28 to August 6 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Wyndham Championship – August 3 to 6 – LIVE on Sky Sports Golf
Last year we saw such incredible support across the game. Over half of the fans that came to watch were new to cricket and there was a wonderful family feel.
I can only encourage you all to get behind the Manchester Originals once again. Cheers to a fabulous tournament and fingers crossed the rain stays away!
Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports Cricket from Tuesday. Stream The Hundred and more with NOW.