Image: Wikimedia Commons / Bahnfrend
Image: Wikimedia Commons / Bahnfrend

Sarah Taylor returns to professional cricket for The Hundred

Ex-England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor will come out of retirement to play for the first time since 2019, after signing with Welsh Fire for the inaugural Hundred competition.

The 31-year-old is widely regarded as the best wicket keeper of all time, and as one of the most talented players England has ever produced. She scored 6,533 international runs and claimed 232 wicket-keeping dismissals across the formats for England between 2006 and 2019.

In her 13-year international career, Taylor has won two 50-over World Cups (2009, 2017) and one T20 World Cup (2009). In the 2017 Cricket World Cup, she and Tammy Beaumont hit the highest 2nd-wicket partnership (275) in Women’s Cricket World Cup history.

Taylor retired from international cricket in 2019 due to anxiety but had not ruled out making a comeback on the domestic side. She told BBC Stumped, “I was struggling with the foundations of who I was when I was playing for England, my anxiety was fluctuating all the time, my agoraphobia was kicking in every time.”

Now I can play cricket for fun

– Sarah Taylor

“It was just a case of trying to find balance and I couldn’t find that. But now I look at my life, I’m extremely balanced, I’m doing things that make me happy, now I can play cricket for fun.”

The Hundred is a new 100 ball competition launching this summer on the 21st July with the aim of putting the men’s and women’s game on equal footing. Taylor will join Welsh Fire alongside Australian skipper Meg Lanning and Australian Women’s current head coach, Matthew Mott. She said, “It ticked a lot of boxes to play at Welsh Fire and I’m glad I’m doing so.”

“I get to play with the likes of Meg Lanning who is a world class player and I’d rather have her in my team than be against her.”

“Matthew Mott is phenomenal, I thought from a coaching point of view it would be brilliant to work with him.”

“I think [The Hundred] is massive for the women’s game, we have to keep progressing the women’s game, The Hundred can really push the game forward and get as many professional girls without losing players.”

Sarah Taylor also recently joined Sussex coaching staff to become the first female specialist coach working with a men’s county side. She dreams to travel around the world and has a “passion to get the next younger wicket-keepers from around the world to come through.”

As anticipation for The Hundred builds, Sarah Taylor’s return is sure to add to the excitement. Welsh Fire’s opening match is against the Northern Superchargers on 24th July at Emerald Headingley, Leeds.

The Welsh Fire squad: Meg Lanning (Australia), Beth Mooney (Australia), Georgia Wareham (Australia), Sarah Taylor, Lauren Filer, Katie George, Amy Gordon, Alex Griffiths, Georgia Hennessy, Sophie Luff, Bryony Smith, Natasha Wraith.

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