The Hundred, it is here, as are the Trent Rockets.
A new form of cricket, preparing to entertain the masses over the next five-and-a-half weeks (the final takes place at Lords on 21 August), begun in earnest today and, with a team representing Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire, it’s all systems go.
With eight teams taking part, around the major cities of England and Wales, the format sees 100-ball matches contested, by both men’s, and women’s teams, with 15, traditional, six-ball overs. Followed by a final, 10-ball over, in a single innings, among other things.
Here, at the Nottingham Sport, we caught up with Trent Rockets wicket-keeper and all-rounder, Tom Moores, the 24-year-old, left-handed, second-generation athlete having joined Nottinghamshire CCC back in 2014, to get his thoughts and feelings, on both the men’s, and women’s, tournaments.
In being second generation, Tom’s father, Peter ‘Stigsy’ Moores, played for Worcestershire, Sussex, and Orange Free State, during the eighties and nineties, Tom knows what that, and the arrival of The Hundred, in the county, means to everyone, saying: “The whole family played cricket, grew up and loved it, but just my father played professionally before me.
“This though, it’ll be huge for the club, for Notts, and I think that, with Trent Bridge being so historic, and a brilliant ground, we’re lucky enough that there’s a few of us in the team who call it home so I think, for Trent Rockets to do well, and we’ll be trying to offer our experience, as Notts players, to the Rockets team, it will mean a huge amount to the club.
“I also think there’s a close connection between the Rockets, and Notts, and Trent Bridge itself, so hopefully all the Notts fans can be Rockets fans, and hopefully we’ll put on a good show for them.”
One of the key components of The Hundred, is that the Women’s game runs equally alongside that of the Men’s, both sexes sharing training programmes, media requirements, and more, under one, equal, club banner.
At the Trent Rockets, Tom adds of this that: “To rub shoulders with, train with, and work alongside them is great for the Women’s game, and great for the Men’s game as well.
“I think, to be as one, and as a full, Trent Rockets club, for the next month or so, it will be brilliant for the sport.
“It’s a great thing that we’re doing and, hopefully, we’ll be supporting the Women to hopefully go all the way in their competition and vice versa so we can go as far as we can as well.”
As for himself, as with everyone involved, aspirations and expectations are, understandably, similar, to win The Hundred.
It’s all about the squad however, and, with opportunities to learn from those around them, Tom adds: “I believe we’ve got a very strong squad, and a squad with a lot of boxes’ covered, a very versatile squad as well, so I think that, with the different types of players, we can use that in the right way and get as far as we can in the competition.
“As you know, all the teams in this competition are very strong and is full of international, star quality players, so we’ll take it each game at a time and doing our usual analysis and reviews of different teams and players and hopefully go out there with some good tactics whilst putting on a good show for the Trent Rockets fans.”
But what of those ‘sceptics,’ cricket fans who prefer the more traditional, long-form game, how does Tom, the Rockets, and other combatants in The Hundred, look to ‘win’ them over to this new, exciting showpiece.
“I think that, like everything that’s new, it’s going to take a bit of getting used to and seeing how it goes,” states Tom.
“We, as players, are really excited to be involved in the competition and, to the traditionalists out there, what I would say, as a young player, is the best in the best world rubbing shoulders together and, for even young, English players like myself, to be opposed to some of the best players in the world and to tap into their knowledge is only going to benefit people like myself, and others around the country.
“So, the experience we’ll gain from like a Rashid Khan (Trent Rockets) in front of a full house at Trent Bridge is about as hard as it gets, and, you know, for the bowlers, your Quinton De Kock (Southern Brave) and people like that, some of the best batters in the world.
“The experience they’ll get from that will be massive, so yes, I’m really looking forward to being part of that and throwing myself into that challenge, and I think everyone else is looking forward to the challenge to, so it should be great entertainment and really fun.”
The Trent Rockets begin with back-to-back home games at Trent Bridge on Saturday afternoon, with the following games lined up – Southern Brave (H, Sat 24 July), Northern Superchargers (H, Mon 26 July), London Spirit (A, Lords, Thurs 29 July), Birmingham Phoenix (A, Edgbaston, Sun 1 August), Welsh Fire (A, Sophia Gardens, Fri 6 August), Oval Invincibles (A, The Oval, Sun 8 August), Birmingham Phoenix (H, Fr 13 August), Manchester Originals (H, Sun 15 August).
The Trent Rockets Men’s squad is as follows – Lewis Gregory (all-rounder, capt), Matthew Carter (bowler), Sam Cook (bowler), Ben Cox (all-rounder), Marchant De Lange (bowler), Alex Hales (batter), Rashid Khan (bowler), David Malan (batter), Tom Moores (all-rounder), Steven Mullaney (all-rounder), Samit Patel (all-rounder), Wahab Riaz (bowler), Joe Root (batter), D’Arcy Short (batter), Timm Van Der Gugten (bowler), Luke Wood (bowler), Luke Wright (all-rounder) – the Women’s squad will follow in the upcoming interview with Katherine Brunt, Sarah Glenn and Rachel Priest.
Hosting the Southern Brave, at Trent Bridge, on Saturday, Trent Rockets Women will start at 11:00, and the Men follow immediately after, at 14:30; information for all games available from www.thehundred.com
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @thehundred Tom Moores ready for action with Trent Rockets.