Scotland star Sarah Bryce has been officially confirmed as an Oval Invincibles player for the inaugural season of The Hundred, the ECB’s new franchise-based domestic competition. The twenty-one-year-old wicketkeeper-batter joins Kathryn Bryce and Abtaha Maqsood as the Wildcats’ third representative in the tournament, which gets underway in July.
“It’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s obviously the first time in England that there’s been this joint competition with the men, and it’ll be really good to be part of something that is new and that is hopefully going to be another step forward for women’s cricket in terms of professionalism.”
As well as picking up both the Batter and Player of the Year after her first season in Kent last summer, Sarah starred for Loughborough Lightning in the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy, scoring four consecutive half-centuries then an unbeaten 136 in the List A competition organised after plans to launch The Hundred were put on hold by the global pandemic. The countdown-style structure of the new competition will provide a different sort of challenge, but Sarah is looking forward to seeing how both batters and bowlers respond.
“It will be interesting to see [in terms of tactics],” she said. “I feel that at first it’s likely to be quite similar to T20 because no-one’s really played it before and so they’ll be very much in that mindset, but as time goes on it’ll probably become more of its own format.
“Overs are gone, so there’ll be no more runs per over, which will be a little confusing at first, but it’ll be interesting to see how it goes.”
The rationale behind the new competition is centred around the engagement of a new audience, with its availability on free-to-air television a key part of the strategy. While the overall concept has provoked some debate, it is that accessibility which is perhaps most exciting of all.
“It’s great that the games will be on terrestrial television,” said Sarah. “People will be able to turn on the TV, maybe stumble across it by accident, and all being well they’ll enjoy what they see.
“It’s really exciting that you no longer have to have Sky and be a cricket fan already to end up watching it.”