4 Uncapped Women to Watch in The Hundred
Ahead of The Hundred's curtain-raiser on the 21st of July, we look at four uncapped players who could grab the headlines
Emma Lamb (Manchester Originals)
Value Proposition: A hard-hitting opener in the form of her life, she can also chip in with more than useful off-spin
23-year-old Emma Lamb has been a revelation in this year’s Charlotte Edwards Cup with both bat and ball. She single-handedly took apart the Sunrisers with an incredible all-round effort, which included an unbeaten 111 to go with figures of 3-16 in the second innings. Astonishingly, this century came on the back of two consecutive hundreds in warm-up fixtures prior to the tournament.
She currently sits at the top of the run-scoring charts in the CEC with 190 runs, which is more than double the number of runs scored by Maia Bouchier who is second with a tournament tally of 91. She also has the highest strike rate of any batter and has hit more sixes (3) than anyone else. On the bowling front, Lamb is the joint leading wicket-taker in the competition with 8 wickets at an economy of 4.44.
She had a disappointing 2019 season when she was able to muster only 115 runs in 10 games of the Women’s Super League albeit at a strike rate of 139. In 2020, she didn’t get much game time as she was part of England’s national training bubble, which forced her to miss a large chunk of the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy. She only managed 9 runs in 2 games for the Thunder last year and often batted down the order in practice games for the national squad.
This year, however, she has put the disappointments of the last two seasons to bed. She’s been just as impressive in the Rachel Heyhoe Flint Trophy. With 220 runs at an average of 55, including a century against the Western Storm, Lamb is currently the 3rd highest run-scorer in the tournament with the next set of matches set to resume from September.
Along with South African Lizelle Lee, she will be hoping to maintain her prolific form and get the Originals off to flyers in the first 25 balls.
2. Katie Levick (Northern Superchargers)
Value Proposition: A consistent leg-spinner who bowls tight lines and is hard to score off in the middle overs
Wrist-spinners are a prized possession for any team when it comes to the shorter formats of the game. Other than Sarah Glenn who is an established figure in the national team, England does not have many leg-spinners around.
However, in spite of being overlooked for a domestic contract, a successful stint in the Hundred could propel Levick onto England’s radar. She’s been one of the most consistent bowlers on the English domestic circuit, going wicketless just once in her last ten white ball appearances.
Despite a unique bowling action, Levick has proven to be a very economical bowler in the T20 format. Her form heading into the Hundred has been very solid. In this year’s Charlotte Edwards Cup, she’s taken 4 wickets at an average of 14.5 and an economy of 4.83.
With an ability to constantly bowl an attacking line targeting the stumps, batters will have to be wary of the threat that she will possess. She contracted COVID-19 last year and struggled with the lingering effects of Long COVID, worried that she’d never be able to play cricket again. However, her resilience eventually shone through and she’s made a wonderful comeback this season for the Northern Diamonds.
It’s hardly surprising that she was retained by the Northern Superchargers, and regular game time could see this dark horse’s story turn into a fairy tale.
3. Lauren Bell (Southern Brave)
Value Proposition: Tall new-ball bowler capable of extracting disconcerting bounce and prodigious movement
The right-arm pacer from Middlesex, Lauren Bell has been making waves on the English circuit for the last couple of years. The tall pacer also has the ability to bring the ball back in sharply, which has seen many batters getting cleaned up.
She picked up 7 wickets at 21.6 in last year’s RHF Trophy and has claimed 4 wickets at 16.7 in this year’s RHF Trophy.
Bell was awarded an academy contract for the 2019-20 season and was one of the few uncapped players chosen by England to begin training during the pandemic restrictions. Out of the 24 players allowed to train, she was one of the only three uncapped players alongside Emma Lamb and Isabelle Wong.
The Southern Brave are lucky to have someone like Bell on their roster, and she will play a vital role with the new ball alongside Anya Shrubsole.
4. Issy Wong (Birmingham Phoenix)
Value Proposition: Genuinely quick opening bowler armed with greater control and more variations than ever before
19-year-old Issy Wong is a pacer capable of someday clocking over 120 km/h. She finished as the leading wicket-taker for the Central Sparks in the RHF Trophy 2021 including a spell of 5-49 against the Diamonds.
There are very few bowlers in women’s cricket with the ability to rush the batters with raw pace, and Wong stands out as one of them at such a young age. It is, therefore, no surprise that she traveled with the England team for their series against New Zealand.
More importantly, as she revealed to All Over Cricket in an interview to be released later this week, she has worked on her discipline and her variations, conceding fewer extras than seasons past, while developing changes of pace that have already paid dividends for her this season.
With Ellyse Perry pulling out of the competition for personal reasons, there will be added responsibility on the shoulders of the young Wong, who is likely to share the new ball with fellow uncapped Southern Vipers seamer Emily Arlott.
Header Image: Southern Vipers Official Twitter
Inputs from Jay Dansinghani
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