Tammy and Welsh Fire Are One Step From Lord’s Final

Welsh Fire Women stand on the brink of a remarkable turnaround in the Hundred this weekend.

After being mostly written off as no-hopers after two undistinguished seasons, Tammy Beaumont will lead her side into Saturday’s Eliminator against Northern Superchargers at the Kia Oval, with plenty of confidence they can make the tournament final.

That would be at Lord’s on Sunday against Southern Brave.

“I remember being incredibly emotional last season, it had not gone anywhere near how we would have liked it to,” says Beaumont.

“I also received a lot of abuse online and I took things to heart.

“People were saying things like Welsh Fire should not be in Cardiff, it should be back across the river.

“I know I am not Welsh but I feel like I really took on the job to promote Wales as a cricketing place to come and make it a real hub, so I took it all quite personally.

“It took a bad year to create something pretty good this year and the turnaround for me is the most pleasing thing, the feelings this year are just so different and going through that tough time makes this all the sweeter.

“We set ourselves some goals we wanted to achieve and we have ticked so many of them off. We broke the attendance record here at Cardiff and then we broke it again on a weekday, we wanted to bring exciting and inspiring cricket and people are coming out to watch it.”

Claire Nicholas is one of three Welsh players in the squad, along with Kate Cappock and Alex Griffiths.

Nicholas says: “Everyone in our squad has embraced that and also being in Cardiff, eating lots of Welsh cakes.

“Both the Welsh Fire men and women have played some good cricket, entertaining the spectators coming through the door.

“I think our success in the competition is making a huge difference to cricket in Wales, and women and girls’ cricket, especially.”

The Women’s Hundred season has been defined by two firsts for the Welsh Fire – Beaumont’s record-breaking 118 against Trent Rockets and Shabnim Ismail’s hat-trick off the last three balls of the innings to beat Birmingham Phoenix by three runs.

Welsh Fire coach Gareth Breese was a late replacement in the role last season, but the combination of time and lessons learned means they are hugely improved from the first two years.

Now Welsh Fire are ready for the Kia Oval ‘semi-final’ on Saturday and just that one game from a Lord’s Final on Sunday.

It has taken a while, but their success is also moving the dial for women and girls’ cricket in Wales.