ICC No. 1 T20 bowler and England spinner - Sophie Ecclestone - has lauded the decision to start a brand new format of the game - The Hundred - with a women's match as a "massive" step for the game. On July 21, the tournament is all set to be inaugurated at the Oval, where the Oval Invincibles will face off against the Manchester Originals.
Ecclestone, who will be an integral part of the Originals, said that it is a massive step for women's cricket.
“I think it’s massive that the women’s games are going to be in the spotlight with the men,” she was quoted saying to the PA news.
"It’s going to be obviously a competition that’s run with the men’s and women’s alongside each other so I think it’s going to be massive for the women’s game to go first and hopefully the Hundred will get a lot of publicity around it."
Certainly not new to historic firsts - she was part of the first-ever day-night women's Test match in 2017 - Ecclestone said that she would love to bowl the first ball of the tournament, before adding, " I think with Kate Cross being the captain, and a seam bowler, I’m not sure I’ve got a choice really."
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"It’s really exciting to be playing in the first game of the Hundred, I think we’re all really excited to get going in the Hundred and I think to play in that first game ever is going to be quite historic and it’s going to be a great game."
The left-arm spinner played a vital role in the Trailblazers' victory in the Women's T20 Challenge 2020, which was held in the United Arab Emirates due to the pandemic. “It was a great experience for me to play in the IPL and I think it was just a great experience to be able to play as an overseas player,” she said.
The ICC's Emerging Player of the Year for 2018 is hoping that the women's IPL to go alongside the men's edition in the coming years. "It would be great if it hopefully goes alongside the men’s in the next few years – not just for women’s cricket but for cricket in general," she concluded.