It has been announced today that England’s World Cup winning captains Heather Knight and Eoin Morgan will be leading London Spirit women’s and men’s teams respectively in The Hundred next year.
Knight and Morgan will join the team based at Lord’s, where they both lifted the World Cup. Knight led England to victory against India in the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2017 in front of a sold out crowd at the Home of Cricket, when they won the 50-over tournament for the first time since 1993. Morgan followed suit with the men’s side two years later in an equally dramatic fashion defeating New Zealand in a thrilling and unforgettable super over.
Knight has played more than 100 times for England in One-Day International cricket, and plays a key role at the top order, having scored nearly 3,000 runs. She is currently playing for Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash tournament in Australia.
Middlesex’s Morgan remains England skipper in both white-ball formats and has been instrumental in the team’s success since first taking on the captaincy in 2015. He has most recently played in the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, captaining them in the latter half of their group matches.
I’m looking forward to playing at the Home of Cricket in this exciting new format"
Morgan, who also leads Middlesex in the Vitality Blast competition, said: “I am delighted to be retained as the captain of London Spirit. We have the makings of a great squad and I’m looking forward to playing at the Home of Cricket in this exciting new format. I believe we will have a great blend of skills both in the squad and our coaching staff and I can’t wait to get going.”
Knight said: “It is a real honour to be retained as the skipper for London Spirit next year. We are beginning to build an exciting side and hopefully we can make a real impact on the pitch. While it was obviously disappointing that the competition wasn’t able to take place this year, The Hundred promises to be a real leap forward for our sport and I can’t wait to lead the side in 2021."
Knight and Morgan will be joined by Naomi Dattani and Dan Lawrence, who have also been retained.
All-rounder Dattani, captain of Middlesex women, was part of the Western Storm squad who won the Kia Super League in 2019. Dattani also made history earlier this year, when she became one of the first wave of professional domestic female cricketers, signing for the new London & East regional team, the Sunrisers.
Dattani added: “It’s really exciting to compete in The Hundred next year. The competition will be a big step forward for the women's game, offering the opportunity for professional women’s cricket to be presented on the same platform, and with equal billing, alongside the men’s game. The wait will definitely be worth it, and I’m really looking forward to get going in 2021.”
Lawrence was named as a men’s local icon pick by London Spirit last year prior to the postponement of the competition. The talented young batsman was called up as a reserve for the England men’s Test squad this summer following a successful winter down under with the England Lions.
"The added bonus will be the opportunity to play at Lord’s which is every player’s dream"
Lawrence said: “I’m thrilled to be retained by London Spirit. The Hundred will give players a great opportunity to learn from the best and with Eoin Morgan as captain I hope to develop my game and be a major part of the success of the team.
“It is a very exciting new format and I think the squad we are putting together will perform really well. The added bonus will be the opportunity to play at Lord’s which is every player’s dream.”
Last month it was announced that Zak Crawley and Deandra Dottin will be part of the London Spirit men’s and women’s squads respectively in 2021.
Crawley enjoyed a fantastic summer on the Test match stage with England, and was voted PCA Young Player of the Year and the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year. He made 417 Test runs, including 267 in the third Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl. He also scored his first domestic T20 century for Kent against Hampshire at the same venue.
Dottin remains a key part of the West Indies women’s side with her all-round prowess, and has most recently been part of the Women’s T20 Challenge in the UAE, playing for the Trailblazers. She has played over 100 times for her country in both One-Day International and T20 International cricket.