New Zealand international Sophie Devine feels “extremely proud and humbled to be captain” of the Birmingham Phoenix women’s team in this first season of The Hundred.

The world’s number one ranked T20 International all-rounder returns to Birmingham four years on from a spell with Warwickshire Women, and she admits that her previous experience of the second city influenced her team choice for The Hundred.

“I’ve been fortunate to play a bit of cricket at Warwickshire and at Edgbaston as well and I loved my time there,” said Devine. “It was a big reason why I chose to play for the Phoenix because of that familiarity and knowing the group and knowing the surrounding area.

“I spent a lot of time in Birmingham and it’s a great place and I certainly love the Midlands. It made my decision a bit easier to go there. I was immediately made to feel at home and welcomed in with open arms and I know that is going to be the same for the Phoenix.

Sophie Devine

“I’m chomping at the bit to pull on the colours for the Phoenix.”

As well as the familiarity of her new city and home venue, Devine will take to the field at Edgbaston alongside some familiar faces. Particularly Birmingham’s own Amy Jones, who was a teammate at Perth Scorchers in the recent Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

“I’ve played a bit of cricket with Jonesy and I’m looking forward to playing with her as she can be as destructive as anyone,” Devine added.

“I think we’ve got an incredible mix of players. Ash Gardner hits one of the biggest balls in the world, and I’m looking forward to watching her bat from the other end of the crease.

“There’s also some strong players and I’ve heard a lot about Issy Wong and the pace that she bowls at. I’m not too sure how happy she’ll be to bowl 10 balls but we’ll see how it goes!”

Having scored fastest century in women’s Twenty20 history in a domestic match for Wellington Blaze last month, Devine is relishing the prospect of the shorter format and innovations presented by The Hundred.

“Shaving 20 balls off an innings might mean that I have to go a bit harder from the start,” she added. “I think it certainly suits my game to have to go a bit harder from ball one and it does really excite me to see that teams are going to have to be really aggressive throughout the game. It will add a lot more excitement and hopefully attract a few more people to watch as well.

Sophie Devine

“I don’t think that it can be underestimated as to the impact of playing all of the games at big grounds as double headers. It’s even better that the tournament is going to be kickstarted by the women too and I think it shows how much has been thrown behind the women’s game to show that they’re leading the competition. That visibility is such a key thing for growing the game and having that visibility, not just in England but around the world.

“We’ve seen the impact that the WBBL has made and I certainly think that the same thing can happen in The Hundred.”

Warwickshire Members can save 50% off tickets for all Birmingham Phoenix home games at Edgbaston in an exclusive members’ pre-sale from 23 February – 28 February 2021. Eligible members will be sent an email from Edgbaston with booking details on 23 February.

Tickets for The Hundred will go on sale to those signed up at thehundred.com through a priority window on 7 April, with general sale beginning on 21 April. Refund policies will be in place if matches are impacted by Covid.

Register for The Hundred priority ticket access

Fans can now register to get priority access to discounted Early Bird tickets to see Birmingham Phoenix at Edgbaston in 2021. Window will be open from 7-18 April.

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