Southern Brave women’s head coach Charlotte Edwards can’t wait to get back to England and start planning for The Hundred after narrowly falling short of winning the Women’s Big Bash League title in Australia.
The England legend helped to mastermind the Adelaide Strikers’ first-ever appearance in the WBBL final at the weekend, with a team captained by Southern Brave all-rounder Suzie Bates.
And while the Strikers fell short, losing to defending champions Brisbane Heat by six wickets, Edwards oversaw a franchise-record 10 wins during the round-robin stages to underline the successful transition she has made from her record-breaking playing career into coaching.
Edwards was the director of women’s cricket as Southern Vipers reached the Kia Super League final last summer and wants to go one better next season with the Brave in the inaugural The Hundred competition.
“I really can’t wait to get back home now and start the planning stages of it because it will come around quite quickly,” Edwards said.
“I know from being out here in Australia how much excitement there is amongst all the players from around the world about The Hundred.
“It is going to be a special competition for women’s cricket in England, with the best players from around the world in addition to our homegrown players, and hopefully the fans will get on board too and they’ll come to watch.
“We have a really good core of players in our team at the moment so hopefully we can contend for that first title.”
Southern Brave have made a statement of intent with their signings so far with England internationals Danni Wyatt and Anya Shrubsole joined by star international duo Stefanie Taylor and Bates.
Edwards admitted she has kept one eye on players at the WBBL with The Hundred in mind as she looks to put together a title-winning squad.
“The focus was on Adelaide Strikers, of course, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking at tactics and players going into The Hundred,” she said.
“It’s great to see all of the players and their strengths and weaknesses so I have half an eye on that while I am here as well as looking at different ways to bowl to people and to go about that.”
One player who has captured the attention in 2019 has been Sussex CCC and Southern Brave all-rounder Danni Wyatt, who Edwards believes has established herself as one of the most complete players in women’s world cricket.
Wyatt was named Player of the Tournament for the KSL last summer and was last week named in the WBBL tea of the Tournament.
He 28-year-old followed that with a century in England’s 75-run win over Pakistan in the opening one-day international against Pakistan in Malaysia this week.
“She has really kicked on her game this year,” Edwards said.
“One thing that you would have said about Danni Wyatt a few years ago was that you knew she had the talent but now she has the consistency in her game.
“We have seen that in back-to-back tournaments in the KSL and the WBBL. She has performed at a high standard. It shows how far she has come and I think there’s even more to come from her.
“We’re really excited to have Danni playing for the Sothern Brave. Hopefully she can keep churning out the runs and she is now contributing with the ball and is one of the most outstanding fielders in the world.
“She is a massive player for the team.”
Southern Brave will play their opening game of The Hundred – Women’s Competition away to Birmingham Phoenix on Friday, July 24 before making their home debut a week later at The 1st Central County Ground.
The women’s team will play two of their three home games at Hove and Edwards believes it is a venue that is not only perfectly suited for her team, but which can also help attract the best players to the squad.
“I think it is one of the best supported grounds in the country,” she said.
“We have seen that with the KSL Finals Day being there for the last few years - it is a great venue.
“Something that stood out to me when the role came up was that we have two brilliant grounds in the Ageas Bowl and Hove. When you’re talking to players they want to know where they’re going to be playing and I think that was a real selling point for us.
“To be on the south coast where it is nice and warm was one of the selling points. Hove is a ground that attracts crowds and the players want to play at.”
Earlier this week, it was announced The 1st Central County Ground will host Finals Day in The Hundred next summer. Read all about it here.