Following the hype of The Ashes summer attention now swiftly turns to the third edition of The Hundred this August.
Stars of England’s Test side Zak Crawley and Mark Wood will line up for London Spirit at the Home of Cricket while the Oval Invincibles women’s side have their sights set on retaining the title for a third consecutive year.
Champions in each of the first two edition of The Hundred, the Oval Invincibles women’s side go into this year’s tournament confident of coming out on top once again in 2023.
Notably they have retained their captain Dane Van Niekerk, Suzie Bates and PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2021 Alice Capsey who, despite her age, will be crucial with the bat and ball. The franchise based at the historic Kia Oval have also opted to keep together most of the squad that beat the Trent Rockets in last year’s final in their hopes of making it three in a row.
As for the Men’s team, they also pack a lot of power which should suit them well heading into the 100-ball format. They will be captained by Sam Billings and are able to brag plenty of international experience with spinners Sunil Narine and Adam Zampa as well as the South African power hitter Heinrich Klasson who averaged a very impressive 49.78 at this year’s IPL.
The Invincibles also have an abundance of domestic talent throughout their team. All-rounder Sam Curran became the most expensive player in IPL history earlier in the year and a lot of their hopes of victory will rest on his shoulders once again.
Opener Jason Roy and all-rounder Will Jacks – who holds the record for the highest score in the competition – also have the ability to win matches single-handedly. They both go into the tournament with a point to prove with hopes of getting into England’s white-ball squad for the T20 and ODI series’ against New Zealand.
The men’s side will miss the express pace of bowler Saqib Mahmood though who has been ruled out through injury. Despite that loss to their bowling department the Invincibles will believe that they have enough quality in their side to break into the top three and make it to the final at Lord’s for the first time.
The Hundred Fixtures for Oval Invincibles 2023:
England’s Ashes stars Zak Crawley and Mark Wood will be key to London Spirit’s chances of improving on their third placed finish last campaign and reaching the final in 2023.
Led by batsman Dan Lawrence for the first time, the Spirits’ biggest strength lies within their batting department with Crawley, Rossington, Wade and Bell-Drummond all available to open. Fast bowler Mark Wood also showed how valuable he can be during the Ashes and London Spirit will be hoping he can carry his Ashes form into the tournament.
Questions do remain however over the lack of a true power hitter later down the order. The team who play they’re home fixtures at Lord’s Cricket Ground no longer have the heavy hitting West Indian Keiran Pollard so they will be relying on their skipper Lawrence, all-rounder Liam Dawson and New Zealand international Daryl Mitchell to fill the gap.
The men’s side will hope to continue their upwards trajectory after improving on their last place finish in 2021 when finishing third last season. Their women’s side on the other hand slipped down the table to a disappointing seventh in the previous edition so will be looking for an improved performance this time around.
They will hope the signing of Australia’s Grace Harris will help them to achieve this. She will slot in alongside England’s captain Heather Knight to create a formidable hitting line up. Lauren Filer – another Ashes star within the Spirit’s team – will also help to provide impressive variety to their bowling attack.
To kick off they’re campaign, the London Spirit host their London rivals Oval Invincibles at Lord’s in an unmissable clash between two sides who will both strongly fancy their chances of winning the third edition of The Hundred.
The Hundred Fixtures for London Spirit 2023:
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