Things that are not rubbish about the Hundred: Sarah Taylor (+ videos)

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Say what you like about the Hundred, but it’s giving us Sarah Taylor when we otherwise wouldn’t have Sarah Taylor. The former England wicketkeeper is returning to professional cricket after joining Welsh Fire, having previously retired from cricket in 2019.

We wonder how many times this year we’re going to start a sentence, “Say what you like about the Hundred, but…”

We also used it a couple of weeks ago to point out how runs-per-100-balls strike-rates will make a good deal more sense in a format where innings last 100 balls. It’s a construction that seems to neatly fit our editorial position, which is that, yes, there’s obviously stuff to dislike about the Hundred, but have you noticed that there’s also stuff to like?

Sarah Taylor playing professional cricket is unequivocally A Good Thing.

Because they spend so much more time up to the stumps, wicketkeepers are far more important in women’s cricket and Taylor is the best of the lot.

Why is she the best?

Oh, you know, little things like trying to run out two batters at opposite ends with basically the same movement.

Things like taking catches off spinners at slip.

Things like her mad keeping drills.

And of course, most frequently of all, things like stumpings that have happened before a normal person would even have caught the ball.

That last one happens quite a lot.

Male wicketkeepers are not especially influential figures any more. For about 80 per cent of the time, they’re just stoppers; little more than out-fielders in gloves. There’s rarely much to be gained from picking someone who performs the role with a bit of artistry.

It’s different in women’s cricket.

Women’s cricket is the best place to see wicketkeeping and Sarah Taylor is the best wicketkeeper to see and she’s in the Hundred.

9 comments

  1. I need help deciding which Hundred team to support. My county’s Essex but I can’t bring myself to support a team called ‘London Spirit’, irrespective of how much nicer Tyrell’s crisps are than the rest. Any suggestions? Your crisp-based round-up of the teams only made me dislike all of them.

    1. Whenever you see ‘London Spirit’ just think ‘gin’ and we’re sure you’ll bond with them in no time.

    2. As discussed before, Oval Invincibles, will never live up to their name, or they aren’t likely to.
      I have thought Welsh Fire would be a good option, they seem pretty good.

      Put all the names in a hat and pick one would be your best bet.

  2. Say what you like about The Hundred but (pandemic permitting) Daisy and I will be taking our seats for the first day of that format at Lord’s, when “The Spirit” will take on “The Vincibles” in a double-header, womens, then mens.

    Say what you like about The Hundred, but the womens and mens double-header idea (last witnessed at Lord’s, at least by me & Daisy, in the World T20 final of 2009) is a very good idea which certainly motivates Daisy. So (pandemic permitting) she will also join me for the inaugural The Hundred finals day at Lord’s too.

    I also hope to see a couple of the midweek double-headers too, pandemic and other activities permitting.

    And for those of you who are thinking I am a hypocrite for succumbing to a format that I lobbied against hard, I can only say that I lobbied against it because I thought the additional format tournament was a bad idea. But once it had been decided to go ahead, it is in the interests of cricket in England for the format to succeed, so I am supporting the initiative, with backsides on seats. I just hope my backsides on seats plan doesn’t backfire when we play The Superchargers or especially The Rockets. No-one wants that.

  3. Listen to the stumpings, you can’t hear the ball hit her gloves. It’s ridiculous.

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