Ryan Sidebottom believes cricket's divisive new tournament 'The Hundred' proved the doubters wrong and that last night’s opener was indeed a success.
The former England international cricketer spoke exclusively to The Sportsman about The Hundred’s opener as the Oval Invincibles beat Manchester Originals by five wickets in a thrilling contest.
The women’s Hundred was first up and the Oval Invincibles got off to a flying start at the Oval. Chasing 136, the Invincibles were 36-4 before South Africa pair Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp combined for a partnership of 73.
Kapp was excellently stumped by Ellie Threkeld for 38 but captain Van Niekerk hit 56 not out to guide her team home. She hit Kate Cross for four to seal the win with two balls remaining, resulting in wild celebrations from the crowd.
Sidebottom felt that the whole event of the opening game was an undoubted success, stating, “You could tell by the crowds, first and foremost, I think the whole razzmatazz and the organisation, then Becky Hill, a renowned singer at halftime.
“I thought it was done really well. Then you’ve got a cracker of a game as well, which is always important and we’re watching men’s and women’s with a new format, and I thought it was absolutely fantastic and a great start.”
✌️ Good vibes
The first match of The Hundred had it all! 😎
The former Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire bowler was impressed by several players who took part in last night’s thriller.
“Kate Cross is always a fantastic performer and Lizelle Lee who is a fantastic overseas player and very strong. You then had Harmanpreet Kaur who had some shots that were just beautiful to watch, everything that she played was just really nice viewing.”
The 43-year-old named Dane van Niekerk as one of the star players as she put in an outstanding performance.
“She was very good, and she was the one who saw the Oval Invincibles home with 52 of 40 bowls. She did not get above herself, and she took it right to the end and took it away from Manchester Originals, so I thought she was a standout performer”, said Sidebottom.
Ahead of the men’s opener tonight, between the Invincibles and the Originals, Sidebottom is excited to see some of the English talent on display and he expects another cracker.
“It’s going to be a great game and you’ve got some homegrown talent on show, some young players making their way into the game as well in the short format and then you’ve got some brilliant overseas players as well.”