Craig Flindall believes Birmingham Phoenix will head into the 2022 Hundred campaign set to build on a "fantastic" first season on and off the field.
The Phoenix Men’s team will start their Hundred at Trent Rockets on Saturday August 6th before facing champions Southern Brave, in a repeat of the 2021 Final, in their first home game on August 10th.
The Women, whose group campaign is two games shorter in 2022 due to the Commonwealth Games, then start against the Welsh Fire in Cardiff on Saturday August 13 before facing Trent Rockets at Edgbaston on Monday August 15.
Both teams will be serious contenders for the trophy after a strong inaugural campaign. The Phoenix Men finished top of the group and runners up in the tournament overall while the Women recovered from a slow start to finish third and storm through to the knockout stage.
Perhaps most encouraging of all, believes Phoenix General Manager Flindall, was the welcome given to the Hundred by West Midlands spectators with big crowds, two thirds of which were new to cricket, at Edgbaston.
“Sixty-seven per cent of people who came to the Hundred in Birmingham last year were new to Edgbaston,” he said. “Part of the rationale of the Hundred was to get new people playing and watching, so that was emphatically achieved.
“You could tell from the atmosphere at Edgbaston…it looked and felt different. The crowds were younger with more families, more local and more diverse and that’s exactly what the tournament was trying to achieve.
“In terms of attracting new people to watch cricket at the grounds and on TV it was a huge success.”
The match atmosphere at Edgbaston was certainly pretty special, aided by the excellent form shown by the teams.
“We came close in both competitions and our women’s team was perhaps the story of the tournament,” Flindall said. “Halfway through the group we were bottom, so to come through and finish third was a fantastic effort. With a bit more experience in the camp, which we will have with the overseas players in 2022, hopefully this year we can go on and win the competition.”
“The Men’s team played the best cricket in the group stage, that’s why we finished top, In the end, Southern Brave just played better than us on the day in the final but the guys played great cricket and gave a lot of fantastic entertainment.”
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