Fran Wilson: Oval Invincibles star says first game of The Hundred will be “once in a lifetime experience”

Fran Wilson

There’s little more Fran Wilson can achieve in her already distinguished career. The 29-year-old has played for England, competed in the Big Bash and is set to feature in this year’s inaugural season of The Hundred.

But, for now at least, the main goal is just to enjoy herself. It’s been a tough year for cricketers and with the ECB’s new flagship competition finally getting underway this summer, Wilson can look ahead to the enviable opportunity of playing in the first game of the tournament.

Speaking to GiveMeSport Women, the batter says: “I’m really excited to be part of the first game and just the tournament in general. It’s obviously a completely new tournament, new format and it's just really exciting –– especially after the last year, to be able to get out there again, hopefully with crowds.”

Fran Wilson

Wilson actually found out she’d be playing in the opening game online and admits the feeling is still sinking in. The Kent star concedes that she only realised “it’s a really big deal” from doing these sorts of interviews.

“I guess it doesn't really sink in until you start doing these kinds of things,” she jokes.

“So it's a once in a lifetime experience and I hope everyone gets down there and it’ll be a full house.”

Though the tournament is now less than two months away, Wilson is still yet to meet all of her Invincibles teammates but is pleased with the plethora of talented overseas players the side has recruited. The South African duo of Marizanne Kapp and Dane Van Niekerk will play for the franchise this season –– both of whom the England star has faced on a number of occasions.

“They’re [Kapp and Van Niekerk] both brilliant players who have played across the world and I've played a lot against them as well. You always know you’re in a fight and that’s a really great quality to have, so I can’t wait to have them on our side.”

Fran Wilson

With restrictions beginning to ease in the UK and the tournament growing nearer, it shouldn’t be long until Wilson is fully acquainted with her new teammates. She has, however, had to deal with the difficulties of COVID bubbles as part of England’s squad last September.

Having also been a member of England’s tour to New Zealand, the former Wellington Blaze player reveals that:

You kind of thought you were in some kind of sci-fi movie.

“It was pretty strange having special times to go into the garden or the yard and it has been hard at times but also I guess we’ll look back and be like it was just another experience...and I think I’ll look back on it fondly even though it was a pretty tough time.”

Having starred in the New Zealand series, scoring a match-winning knock in the third Twenty20 International, Wilson is one of the finest limited-overs players in the game. That being said, The Hundred is a new format with new rules and the T20 specialist admits it will be a somewhat new feeling to get used to.

“I think it's very hard to predict. I think a lot of it will just be reacting in the moment, learning as you go and I think that's quite important in anything really to make sure you're open to learning what's going on. So I think there’ll be loads of new tactics that will emerge.”

It will certainly take a transitional period to adapt to this new form of the game and given the star quality on every team this season, Wilson believes the tournament itself will be “very tight and open to everyone.”

Indeed, that’s exactly why fans should tune in to watch. A thrilling, unprecedented and unpredictable competition that is 100 percent committed to delivering a historic summer for women’s cricket.

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