The Hundred: Welsh Fire’s Tammy Beaumont on captaincy, a fresh start and bounce back

Welsh Fire’s new captain Tammy Beaumont has a challenge ahead of her.

She is new to Cardiff, having moved from the London Spirit, and captained the team that finished bottom of the women’s Hundred table last year – her first cricket since the personal disappointment of missing out on the Commonwealth Games.

But it’s a pressure Beaumont embraces.

She enjoys a rest day in the Welsh sunshine, a trip to the beach planned with her teammates and dog Indie, who always sits lovingly by her side.

The 31-year-old takes her leadership seriously, but calmly, both on and off the pitch.

“I’m very big on taking some time away from cricket,” says Beaumont. “We have a real family atmosphere in our squad. We have five kids and our unofficial team dog here, so it’s a great thing to have those distractions.”

And when it comes to cricket, there is a new fire team looking to improve on a difficult first year.

Beaumont is one of the key recruits, not only for her captaincy, but as an experienced, aggressive batsman at the top of the order.

“There’s probably not a lot of expectation on us this year, which means we can just go about our business and play our own way,” she says.

“We have about eight or nine new players, so they don’t have that history.”

The captaincy is not entirely new to Beaumont. She has managed Kent Women and the Southern Vipers, but has played for several years under two of England’s most successful skippers in Charlotte Edwards and Heather Knight.

But there is something that excites her, an opportunity she felt she couldn’t turn down when it was offered by Welsh Fire.

“It gives me an opportunity to come in, make progress and build something quite special. As captain, I want to empower the players to get the best out of themselves.

“I’ve been a senior player for England for a while, and been involved in management groups. I haven’t necessarily thought about captaining England, but it’s a skill I really want to develop during The Hundred.”

Tammy Beaumont plays a sweep shot for London Spirit
Tammy Beaumont played for London Spirit in the first edition of The Hundred before signing for Welsh Fire as captain

With the women’s competition starting later than the men’s this year due to the Commonwealth Games, Beaumont is confident the game can build on its breakthrough start in 2021.

After a Covid-affected first year, the players can bring their families to stay and several of the world’s best players from Australia are involved – including Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey and Rachael Haynes who join Beaumont at the Welsh Fire.

“It’s amazing for the young players to be able to learn from the best in the world,” she added.

“Particularly for me, from a leadership point of view, Rachael Haynes has so much experience as Australia’s vice-captain. Unfortunately for us, it always seems to be the Aussies who are the pioneers, but that will eventually change!”

And change seems to be materializing.

There was shock when Beaumont himself, one of the first names on an England team list in recent years, was left out of the squad selected for the Commonwealth Games, where the team eventually finished fourth.

Although she admits she was “dreaded” to miss the Games, Beaumont is able to see the positives and credit The Hundred, as well as the new regional professional contracts, for what it has done for young, up-and-coming players .

“The players in my time, we would get into the England team from doing well in our county and actually we might not hit the ground running,” she said.

“It would take a good few years of being in and out of the team and working on your game to get back in.

“But now, Issy Wong, Alice Capsey, Freya Kemp – they’ve all played regional cricket and they’re straight into international level and performing straight away.

“And that’s because they’re used to playing in things like The Hundred, in front of big crowds and with the camera shoved in their face all the time. They know what to expect, there’s no such thing as an easy game, you’ve got to earn the.”

But Beaumont is a resilient character. She is determined to force her way back into England’s Twenty20 squad, but for now she is focused on the job ahead.

“I just have to go out there and show what I can do,” she added. “When it comes to playing for the Welsh Fire, it’s just about winning the game in front of me – just in a different color than usual.”

A change in signings, a change in captain and Australian superstars in their ranks – but will it result in a change in Welsh Fire’s fortunes?

Tammy Beaumont is determined to make it happen.

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