The Hundred is the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) new short-format cricket tournament, consisting of eight brand-new teams competing concurrently in men's and women's competitions.
Head Coach of the Tigers female program, Salliann Beams, will take the helm as Head Coach of Nottingham's Trent Rockets women's team, and will have Tigers players Rachel Priest and Heather Graham on her roster, whilst Tim Kendrew will serve as the team's analyst.
Beams – who is originally from England - echoed the excitement of the quartet, to be taking part in a brand-new competition and a brand-new format of the game.
“It’s obviously a brand-new competition and a new format, but for the players back home – particularly the female players – it’s a chance for them to be professional cricketers. It’s been a long time coming for those girls back home so it’s going to be a good stage and a good platform for them to really grow the game.”
Priest added that not only was it a bonus opportunity for players such as herself, but it was a nice little addition to the Tigers pre-season.
“With the way the world is at the moment you don’t get these opportunities coming up as much at the moment so it’s always a good opportunity to go and play in a new competition and challenge yourself in that way.”
Despite the Tigers 2021-22 pre-season only being four weeks old, Graham was adamant that she was raring to go.
“It’s probably a little bit of a bonus for us that we’re coming out of the pre-season and we’ve been put through the ringer with Ross [the Tigers female program’s strength and conditioning coach] at the moment, so we’ll be going over there in pretty good shape.”
However, despite key players and personnel missing a chunk of the pre-season to take up the opportunity, Beams is said that the program is in the best shape it has been yet and will keep humming along in her absence.
“I think the biggest difference for me [this year] four weeks in is that we’ve got players who know how to lead their own training and know how to ask questions and form conversations in and around training so everyone’s learning, and not just requiring the head coach to lead on those conversations. Being in an environment where I can step back is brilliant because all of those things are happening now instead of me, not of because of me.”
Meanwhile Beams’ decision to also take Kendrew to the UK highlights the value and importance of the support side behind the scenes in Cricket Tasmania’s high performance program, particularly when it comes to the ever-changing shorter forms of the game.
“The exciting part for me is that from a strategy point of view [I’m] really trying to understand how we can use the new format to try and position ourselves best to get an edge or a jump on other teams…working out how in a sense we can exploit the rules to our advantage,” Kendrew said.
“The shorter the format, from an analysis point of view the more structure you can try and bring to the way you want to play… With the men’s BBL last year, having that experience in terms of new rules working out how we can use those to our advantage the best, that really helps going into The Hundred with the different format.”
The Hundred officially kicks off on July 22, with the Trent Rockets first game to be at home against the Southern Brave on July 24.