World Cup winner Fran Wilson has warned against putting too much pressure on Alice Capsey, the breakout star of last year's The Hundred, writes Sportsbeat's Milly McEvoy.
The 17-year-old was the Oval Invincibles' joint-second top scorer with 150 runs and took two for 21 in the final as the Invincibles claimed the inaugural women's title.
Wilson played alongside Capsey in last season's Hundred but has since swapped the champions for Welsh Fire and wanted to quieten the noise around the all-rounder after she made her first international fifty for England in the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old was herself a teenager when she made her debut for England before spending five years in the international wilderness.
“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 support and patience for someone like that 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.”
Wilson 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.
The roadshow will reach Cardiff on 5 August after the men’s competition gets underway with Welsh Fire playing holders Southern Brave – the women’s competition starts a week later following the conclusion of the women’s T20 competition at the Commonwealth Games.
Once the women's competition returns, the Hundred will revert to is double headers to prove popular and drummed up record crowds for the women's domestic game last season.
The same is expected again, with Wilson hoping the Hundred can use the Lionesses' triumph at the European Championships as a stepping stone for growing the women's game.
“I really hope so. I hope the profile that the Lionesses built and that success they've had will have an impact on other sports including cricket,” Wilson said.
“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, I would have seen the day that we'd be playing at a sell-out 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 an incredible tournament for us.”
Wilson called time on her international career last year having played for England 64 times and was part of the team that won the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup on home soil.
Since her retirement, Wilson has returned to the West Country, playing for Western Storm and Gloucestershire, where she also acts as an age-grade coach.
And the right-handed batter who scored 108 runs in last season's tournament expressed no regrets over deciding to retire aged 29.
She said: "I've loved it. It is quite nice to step away and have a look at things from the other side and my life balance is great.
"Living at home more, not living out of a case. I live out my cupboard which is such a great thing.
"Obviously, I missed the team, and I missed that kind of thing, but it was definitely the right time to step away and I'm loving it, it's been a nice change."
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