The Hundred: Meet Birmingham Phoenix

England wicketkeeper Amy Jones will as soon as once more captain Birmingham Phoenix this season

After the lads had been crushed within the closing and the ladies had been denied within the eliminator, 2022 can be all about stunning adjustments and getting your fingers on silverware for the Birmingham Phoenix. Right here is BBC Sport’s information to Edgbsaton’s staff …

How did they behave final 12 months?

I may have, I ought to have, it was the story of the Birmingham Phoenix males in 2021.

They made it to the ultimate with six wins out of eight video games to complete on the prime of the standings, solely to fall in need of the closing in opposition to Southern Courageous.

All of it hinged on the weird dismissal of hitter Phoenix and event MVP Liam Livingstone, who was knocked out by Tim David, after pondering he hit a restrict and ran easily as a substitute of operating.

The Phoenix girls had been down within the dumps after a single win of their first 5 video games, solely to rise from the ashes.

They’ve gained their final three video games on the rebound to finish a notable turnaround and qualify for the eliminator in opposition to Oval Invincibles.

Phoenix scared the Invincibles into the battle to succeed in the ultimate after their opponents scored 114, however after an excellent begin their hitters had been blown out for 94 by Invincibles bowlers Tash Farrant and Marizanne Kapp.

To look at: Liam Livingstone and Imran Tahir

Liam Livingstone has metal wrists and forearms like tree trunks – can anybody on this planet of cricket proper now hit the ball farther than him?

He beat an unimaginable 27 six in final 12 months’s event, practically double Phoenix skipper Moeen Ali (15) who was second highest.

The 28-year-old’s 348 races within the 2021 competitors noticed him named MVP – count on extra fireworks this 12 months.

Imran Tahir could also be 43, however when the Phoenix spinner snaps off to have a good time after taking the wickets, his a lot youthful teammates fail to catch him. After taking the primary hat-trick in final 12 months’s event even Usain Bolt would have had a run for his cash.

With a fortunate headband, he is a artful fox with the ball in his hand and the final word showman, so count on dazzling deliveries and wild celebrations.

To look at: Ellyse Perry and Issy Wong

Birmingham Phoenix players Ellyse Perry (left) and Issy Wong (right)
Australia’s Ellyse Perry is likely one of the best gamers ever, whereas Britain’s Issy Wong is one among cricket’s most promising younger stars

Ellyse Perry has been a twin nationwide staff in cricket and soccer for Australia – she debuted in each senior groups on the age of 16 and has stunningly appeared within the World Cup for each sports activities.

She has devoted herself utterly to cricket and now, on the age of 31, the handyman is a dwelling legend of the ladies’s recreation who nonetheless operates on the peak of her powers.

Cool and calm with the bat, Perry additionally has three essential benefits that make her a lethal bowler: tempo, management and intelligence.

On the different finish of her profession, Issy Wong is a 20-year-old who likes to reside life within the quick lane

She solves a Rubik’s Dice in lower than 60 seconds and goals to turn out to be the quickest feminine bowler on this planet.

Wong always launches at over 70mph and needs to interrupt the 80mph mark. She is quickly growing a status for large moments – the massive Liverpool fan jokingly refers to herself “the Divock Origi of cricket” throughout his current take a look at debut in England.

Younger weapons: Will Smeed and Davina Perrin

Birmingham Phoenix players Will Smeed (left) and Davina Perrin (right)
Will Smeed was dazzled as a young person in Hundred Years and Davina Perrin hopes for an opportunity to do the identical this 12 months

By his personal admission, opener Will Smeed is a “little bit of a nerd” having earned A * s in math, additional math, chemistry, and A-level physics.

Nevertheless, the 20-year-old Open College pupil goes from nerd by day to explosive hitter by evening.

He was the youngest participant of the hundred males final 12 months, and his revolutionary star, along with his dazzling 65 out of 35 balls in opposition to Welsh Hearth significantly memorable.

Irrespective of the A ranges, Davina Perrin has not but handed her GCSEs. You mentioned that signing for Phoenix is ​​a “dream come true”.

At simply 15, the Wolverhampton teenager is uncooked expertise and a possible future champion.

Perrin is a part of the Ebony Rainford-Brent-led African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) program, which goals to extend alternatives for black cricketers.

Why will the Hundred win?

Having a shot at glory within the closing and falling brief left Phoenix’s male gamers hungry to do higher this time round.

Coach Daniel Vettori can be seeking to flip it into one thing to inspire them relating to crunch matches.

Livingstone, particularly, can be a person on a mission after final 12 months and between him, Tahir, Moeen and Australian veteran Matthew Wade, Phoenix has some skilled match winners.

Edgbaston can create a incredible environment in his day and the ladies of Phoenix maybe felt the additional strain final 12 months, dropping three of their 4 dwelling video games – captain Amy Jones mentioned she “had goosebumps” enjoying. in entrance of an excited crowd and he was in all probability not alone.

However with a one-year-old squad of gamers, coach Ben Sawyer can be wanting to make use of partisan assist to his benefit.

On the pitch, Phoenix’s mix of seasoned worldwide gamers like Perry, Jones, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and India’s Deepti Sharma ought to ally effectively with fearless youth Wong, Abtaha Maqsood and probably Perrin as effectively.

Why They Will not Win The Hundred

There’s a lot to do on the shoulders of Moeen and Livingstone within the batting division. However it’s Phoenix males’s bowling that seems to be uncooked with accidents.

On paper, they’ve a powerful assault, however will they ever handle to place collectively their finest bowling lineup on the court docket on the identical time?

Matthew Fisher has already been dominated out with a again harm, Chris Woakes did not play a primary staff recreation this summer season attributable to varied incidents, Olly Stone simply returned from a stress fracture, whereas New Zealand’s Adam Milne and Kane Richardson of Australia have been fighting hamstring issues not too long ago.

Phoenix girls is not going to be as much as par as a result of they’ve piled too many obligations on their handymen to attain a lot of the runs.

Perry, Devine and Sharma ought to contribute closely with the bat, and in the event that they hit a lean space, Phoenix might have a tough time.

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