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Wong: Hundred reasons to be full of optimism; CRICKET.


SIMPLY sharing a hotel with the men's squad is a huge leap forward for women's cricket, admitted Birmingham Phoenix bowler Issy Wong.

The 19-year-old has made a name for herself this season with Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, earning plaudits from England captain Heather Knight.

She is now set to make her Phoenix debut next Friday in their home opener for The Hundred, the new 100-ball competition promising gender parity across the board, from prize money to resources.

"Getting the same hotel as our men's team, the same facilities, it's a massive thing," said the Shrewsbury School graduate, who was selected to the England Academy in 2019. "Traditionally, women's teams haven't always had the same opportunities as the men. But to be playing at the same grounds, training at the same places, using the same gyms, little things like that are things you wouldn't really think about, but actually the fact that's there means so much to us as female players.

"It makes such a difference to us, and really makes us feel like there's an investment being made in us and we can go out there and perform and enjoy it and have fun.

"It's the faith the ECB are putting in us as female athletes and saying we're investing in you, we value you, we value what you do on the pitch, we value what you do off the pitch.

It's the ECB are us as female and saying investing value value you "The hotels, the same venues, the same shirts, the same fans, little things like that are just as important in progressing things forward."

The fast bowler, who was hitting 70mph by age 17, wants to be the first woman to bowl at 80mph. Wong watched her first cricket match at Edgbaston when she was "about nine or ten".

The venue is now home to Birmingham Phoenix, who will host London Spirit in the opening double-header beginning with the women's match at 3pm, followed by the men's at 6.30pm.

Wong hoisted the T20 Cup with the Bears in 2019 and is eager to create more Midlands history in The Hundred.

Wong said: "We have to go out there with a Birmingham shirt on, and (to) play for my city is so exciting. It's really special. I think it's important we realise as cricketers the stage we've been lucky to be given now.

faith the putting in athletes we're in you, we you, we what do.

"There is a responsibility that comes with that, and hopefully we can put on a good show this summer, and if one girl watches one of our games and thinks, 'you know what, I want to play cricket' then that's a win."

| You can see and be part of history: show your support and attend the first game of The Hundred on July 21 at The Kia Oval,

It's the faith the ECB are putting in us as female athletes and saying we're investing in you, we value you, we value what you do. we've


Issy Wong and skipper Amy Jones, inset, can't wait to step out at Edgbaston next Friday

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 17, 2021
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