Scotland women’s captain Kathryn Bryce admits she cannot wait to take part in the inaugural ‘The Hundred’ tournament this summer after she was selected to play for the Trent Rockets in the groundbreaking event.
On Wednesday 22nd January, the eight women’s teams in England and Wales-based The Hundred announced their first wave of domestic signings for the tournament which begins in July.
And all-rounder Bryce, 22, was picked to play for Trent Rockets – who will represent Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire with the women’s games being played in Derby and Leicester – alongside England internationals Beth Langston, Mady Villiers and Sarah Glenn.
They join big names like England duo Kathryn Brunt ad Nat Sciver as well as Australians Elyse Villani and Sophie Molineux in the Rockets squad with more players to be added in the coming months.
And when you think that the franchise’s men’s playing group already includes England skipper Joe Root and Australian star D’Arcy Short it is easy to see why Bryce is excited about what is to come.
“It is a great honour to be asked to be involved in this new tournament that will hopefully help take the game of cricket to a wider audience,” Bryce, who grew up playing for George Watson’s College and Watsonians in Edinburgh, said.
“When you look through the Trent Rockets squads that are being compiled for both the women and the men there are big names wherever you look. As a young player still learning my trade I will just look to take as much from my experienced teammates from around the world as I can in training and in matches while hopefully there will be a good connection between the women’s and men’s squads.
“Being around people like Joe Root will be brilliant because he is such a good player and it will just be really interesting to see how these types of cricketers go about their business on a daily basis.
“I have played in front of quite big crowds before when I have turned out for Scotland and with Loughborough Lighting last year in the Kia Super League last summer and I think The Hundred will be full of excitement and atmosphere around all of the grounds.
“There will be music and plenty going on outside the boundary rope and it will be a buzz to play in front of large crowds, but as players, you just have to focus on what is going on in the game and let the large number of spectators inspire you rather than distract you.”
Bryce is known for her calm nature out on the field and that will come in handy in this new short, sharp format of the game with a lot of new rules and idiosyncrasies to get a handle on.
“Like T20 cricket, there will be something different to think about and going on each ball in The Hundred,” Bryce explained.
“Captains will be thinking about what to change up all of the time and as players we will have to be ready to respond to that and do our bit as and when required by the team whether that is with the bat, ball or in the field.
“I love how all formats of cricket ebb and flow and situations change quickly and I am sure that is going to be a big part of The Hundred, which squads gel quickest and get their strategy right out there on the field.”
And Bryce, who is currently studying sports science at Loughborough University down south, hopes her selection for the Trent Rockets can inspire young Scottish girls to take up cricket.
“A lot of the games will be on television while I am sure lots of people will be travelling down from Scotland to watch games live during the summer holidays, so if I can inspire girls to take up the game I love and show them what is possible the that would be great,” she stated.
“Cricket and sport in general is all about enjoyment and I certainly plan to enjoy being part of the Trent Rockets squad.”
“She is a composed cricketer who is getting better all the time”
One of the first people to congratulate Bryce on her The Hundred call-up was Scotland women’s head coach Steve Knox.
He has watched her grow as a player over the last couple of years and said: “I am so pleased for Kathryn that she has been given this chance.
“I am not surprised she has been picked up by the Trent Rockets because she performed very well for the Lightning in last year’s Super League and was in sensational form in 2019 whenever she pulled on a Scotland shirt.
“She is a composed cricketer who is getting better all the time. Kathryn knows her own game and her own abilities well and that is key when you are playing in the shorter formats of the game which can be quite frenetic.
“She brings a clarity to things out there on the field and her skill set is getting better all of the time so these really are exciting times.”
What is ‘The Hundred’?
The Hundred will start in July and span five weeks in a bid to encourage more families and children to attend games.
The men’s and women’s teams are the Trent Rockets, Southern Brave, Northern Superchargers, Welsh Fire, Oval Invincibles, Manchester Originals, London Spirit and Birmingham Phoenix.
In games each side will bat for up to 100 balls with a change of bowling ends taking place after every 10 balls.
Bowlers will be able to deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls but no more than 20 per match.
A 25 ball powerplay will start each side’s innings, during which time only two fielders will be allowed outside the initial 30-yard circle.
Each fielding side gets the chance to call for a strategic timeout of up to 150 seconds.
The men’s tournament starts on July 17 with the women’s event beginning on July 22.
The 1st Central County Ground in Hove, Sussex, will host The Hundred women’s final on August 14 and Lord’s in London will host the men’s final a day later.