Bell is going England to The Hundred
Fast bowler Lauren Bell, fresh from making her England One Day International debut, is back on the domestic scene and looking forward to The Hundred, which begins this week.
In 2021, the competition’s inaugural edition, Bell’s Southern Brave reached the final before losing to the Oval Invincibles at Lord’s.
Bell was one of the breakthrough stars of the new franchise, which comprises 100 balls per side, taking 12 wickets.
The Southern Brave begin their new campaign against London Spirit at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.
“I’m so excited to meet up for the Hundred, we’ve made a few new signings,” Bell said.
“It was so much fun last year and it was so great for women’s cricket to have such big crowds and so many people in watching.
“We have a goal to go one step further than we did last year, we’re in it to win it.
“We’ve got last year to reflect on, it gives us great experience, but I think we know that it’ll be more competitive this time, there are more teams that look like challenging.”
Bell followed up her international test debut in June with a first England ODI Cap in Gloucestershire earlier this month; she featured in the second and third matches as England completed a 3-0 whitewash over South Africa.
“It was so exciting, such a proud moment, to make my ODI debut in front of my parents was a dream,” she said.
“It was an honour to be in and around the squad, and to get picked to play was great.
“We’ve got a good group, there’s a core of experienced players that have been playing together for quite a while now but there’s some new players around the team too.
“It’s a competitive squad but it’s so welcoming, it’s great to be a part of.”
Bell, like most modern cricketers, has to switch between formats with increasing frequency; her test debut last month was her first experience of competitive red ball cricket and she returned to feature in Southern Vipers 11 run win over the Sunrisers before transitioning to the Hundred, which begins tomorrow.
“The test match was the most testing because I hadn’t played with the red ball before, so it was a lot of learning about the game and how it works,” she said.
“I’ve got lots of confidence going into the 50 over stuff and the Hundred, it’s all cricket at the end of the day.
“Most of the time your best ball is what you use most often, and that’s the same in all formats.
“I suppose the difference is I’ll use more variations in the short formats, and perhaps be a bit less patient, but I approach it all with the same determination and focus.”
A focused and determined Lauren Bell, now with international experience under her belt, will be a daunting prospect for batters – time will tell if she can help the Southern Brave to glory in The Hundred.