All-rounder Perry says the chance to take part in an exciting and unique cricket tournament attracted her to The Hundred and says tournament has a crucial role to play in bringing the game to new fans
Thursday 3 June 2021 14:22, UK
Australia's Ellyse Perry has added even more international flair to the inaugural edition of The Hundred after signing for Birmingham Phoenix.
The 30-year-old will link up with England duo Amy Jones and Georgia Elwiss and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine at Phoenix for the ECB's new 100-ball competition, which launches on July 21 with a women's match between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals at The Kia Oval.
Perry was named as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Decade in December 2019 and is closing in on 5,000 runs and 300 wickets for Australia across all formats of international cricket.
A number of the all-rounder's Australia team-mates will play in The Hundred, including Meg Lanning (Welsh Fire) and Alyssa Healy (Northern Superchargers), while West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor (Southern Brave) and South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk (Invincibles) are also involved.
Asked by Sky Sports News what attracted her to The Hundred, Perry said: "The opportunity to be involved in something incredibly exciting and unique for the sport.
"To be part of the first edition and playing something I am sure will be talked about for a long period of time and have a successful run is the reason you play in the first place.
"It's a real honour to be asked to be involved and I am really looking forward to having a crack at it. It will challenge the way we do a lot of things.
“By showcasing the most talented female cricketers on the planet, on a big stage, alongside the men, we have an opportunity to continue to normalise cricket as a sport for women and girls, as much as it is for men and boys. I truly believe that The Hundred will be a gamechanger for women’s sport."
"Innovation is great in sport - people are often quite resistant at the start because they don't like change, particularly in sport, but these things can be really great.
"With the calibre of player that has been attracted to The Hundred it's super exciting and I think it is going to be a wonderful product.
"Equally, I am really looking forward to seeing the depth of women's cricket in England and how that has developed over the last couple of years."
Perry, the only woman so far to claim the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in T20 internationals, believes The Hundred will attract new supporters to cricket.
She said: "It is always important for the future of the sport to continue to bring in new fans.
"Cricket is quite a traditional game and often drawn out, so the advent of T20 has been wonderful for engaging new fans. The Hundred is an even more condensed version so that is attractive to people who perhaps haven't been as drawn to cricket beforehand."
Perry is also excited that The Hundred will begin with a women's fixture and that the men's and women's tournaments have been aligned, a sentiment echoed by England all-rounder Nat Sciver, who will captain Trent Rockets this summer.
Perry added: "It's very cool that a women's game will kick of the competition. It's a great opportunity for the sport to showcase the women's side of things. I think it's great the men's and women's tournaments are pitted together and put on an equal standing."
Sciver - speaking to Sky Sports earlier this month - said: "It's a reminder of how far we've come.
"Having this competition and to be part of something new and exciting with a men's team alongside will hopefully create a culture at the Rockets that it's just one team, whether you are in the men's side or the women's. I think it is really important for the public to see that we are all one team."
Watch The Hundred live on Sky Sports this summer!