Welsh Fire’s Fran Wilson is grateful for the European Championship-winning England Lionesses for raising the profile of women’s sport further, a year on from The Hundred elevating women’s cricket to new heights.
Wilson has swapped holders, the Oval Invincibles, for a team closer to her West Country base and will be hoping to reignite Welsh Fire’s charge after they finished bottom of the table last year.
The 30-year-old World Cup winner with England, will get her Hundred campaign underway when Welsh Fire take on Birmingham Phoenix at Sophia Gardens on 13 August.
“I really hope they have raised the profile of women’s sport even further. I hope the profile that the Lionesses built and that success they've had will have an impact on kind of other sports including cricket,” Wilson 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.
“Hopefully, we kind of ride that wave of momentum, I'm very grateful for them.
“I think The Hundred has got a huge part to play in that. I didn't think when I started out playing senior women's cricket, that we'd be playing at sellout Lord’s for a domestic tournament.
“So, for that to happen, is really incredible and that's where the benefit of having these doubleheaders and playing alongside the men has really led to that exposure, it was incredible tournament for us.”
Wilson was speaking at the launch of KP Snacks’ summer cricket roadshow at The Black Prince Trust in Oval, with the roadshow reaching Cardiff on August 5 after the men’s competition gets underway with Welsh Fire playing holders Southern Brave – the women’s competition starts a week later after the conclusion of the women’s T20 competition at the Commonwealth Games.
She said: “it's incredible, being down here today, introducing the sport to people who wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise just shows the value of it.
“And getting the families involved, whether it's old, young kids, boys, girls, that’s the whole purpose of it. So, it's amazing to be doing events like this today.”
Wilson called time on her international career in October last year but is happy to see young guns like Alice Capsey take up the mantle.
17-year-old Capsey made her first international fifty in England’s defeat of South Africa in the Commonwealth Games yesterday a year on from being the breakout star of The Hundred.
“I was in Alice's team last year, it was quite evident how much ability she has, and she's shown that for England.,” Wilson said.
“I think with any young player, it's just managing expectations across the board, because she'll go through highs, lows, she's still learning the trade.
"She might go down a bit. But ultimately, it's that supporting and patience for someone like that, who, which will enable her to go on and play for England over the years
“Because the last thing we want is to pin our hopes on a 17-year-old. But she is a great player and a good girl, just good to have around.”
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