Manchester Originals’ Lizelle Lee believes The Hundred is only getting ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ and is set to explode again this summer across the UK – just like her performances in the North West, writes Sportsbeat's Milly McEvoy.
The opener made history as she faced the first-ever delivery in The Hundred, clashing with her former South African teammate Marizanne Kapp of the Oval Invincibles.
But the 30-year-old right-hander is aiming for more batting success after ending the 2021 edition with 215 runs at an average of 43.00.
“Without a doubt, last year was spectacular, it was great fun and a great tournament,” Lee said, who was speaking at the launch of KP Snacks’ summer cricket roadshow at The Black Prince Trust in Oval. KP Snacks are the Official Team Partner of The Hundred and are on a mission to inspire more families to get active through cricket by bringing a pop-up experience on a nationwide tour of the country.
“I do think this year is going to be even better and I'm really looking forward to seeing what's going to happen.
“I wish it could have gone a bit better for us, but I think as a team, we did well. We started off badly and then we got better as the tournament went on.
“I am really hoping to make more runs this year. I want to contribute batting, fielding, or really helping our team make it to Finals Day this year, either the final or semi-finals.
“Because I really think we have a good team, so I’m hoping I can contribute more to the team and ultimately get us to that Finals Day.”
Lee was speaking at the launch of KP Snacks’ summer cricket roadshow at The Black Prince Trust in Oval, with the roadshow arriving in Manchester on 11 August, with the Originals’ women’s side kicking-off their campaign on the 13th against Trent Rockets.
Lee, who recently retired from all forms of international cricket, relished the family atmosphere of the roadshow launch as it harked back to her younger years as she took up the game.
She will now hope to pass on her love of the sport to her son Wihan who was born in February just before the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup, where Lee and South Africa reached the semi-finals.
Lee added: “I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's the first time that I see families competing and having so much fun, not only the children.
“I think it just brings an extra factor in and you're getting families active together, it was amazing to see, and it is a great initiative.
“My dad and my brother played cricket and I think if you've asked a lot of South Africans, it's probably started the same way, we started playing in the backyard. And we did and the love for cricket just grew from that.
“It would be I think one of the greatest honours one day for my boy to say my mother plays cricket and my wife Tanja also plays, it would be great to see.
“And I'm just waiting for the moment. Obviously, he can’t even talk, even though he screams so much but I'm very looking forward to that and hopefully he can be proud of me and his mother one day.”
KP Snacks, Official Team Partner of The Hundred, are touring the country this summer to offer more opportunities for people to play cricket as part of their ‘Everyone In’ campaign. Visit everyonein.co.uk/about