Sophie Ecclestone gets first leadership role as Manchester Originals captain

Ellyse Perry, Dane van Niekerk to captain Birmingham Phoenix, Oval Invincibles respectively

Ecclestone has never captained a professional match  •  Getty Images

Ecclestone has never captained a professional match  •  Getty Images

Sophie Ecclestone will captain a side for the first time in her professional career this summer, following her appointment as Manchester Originals' captain for the Hundred.
Kate Cross led Originals women in the first two editions of the tournament but was signed by Northern Superchargers in March's draft, and the team announced on Monday that Ecclestone will lead them in 2023.
It will be the first senior leadership role of Ecclestone's career and may carry long-term significance from England's perspective. She has never captained a professional team but has long been established as their frontline spinner, and in the long term, could become an option to succeed Heather Knight.
"I'm buzzing to be captaining Manchester Originals this year," Ecclestone said in an ECB press release. "The Hundred is such a great competition to take part in and I can't wait to lead the girls out at Emirates Old Trafford."
Elsewhere in the women's tournament, Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry has replaced Sophie Devine as Birmingham Phoenix captain, while Dane van Niekerk has been reconfirmed as Oval Invincibles captain after losing her place to Suzie Bates during their title-winning season last year.
In the men's tournament, Tom Abell's appointment as Welsh Fire's new captain has also been confirmed. ESPNcricinfo revealed in February that Mike Hussey had lined Abell up as a leadership option, and he was a £125,000 signing at March's draft.
Six of the eight teams have now confirmed their men's and women's captains, with Northern Superchargers and defending men's champions Trent Rockets the two exceptions.
The tournament will run from August 1-27 in 2023, with a standalone window that means it will not clash with any England men's or women's fixtures for the first time.

The Hundred 2023 captains:

Birmingham Phoenix: Ellyse Perry, Moeen Ali
London Spirit: Heather Knight, Dan Lawrence
Manchester Originals: Sophie Ecclestone, Jos Buttler
Northern Superchargers: TBC
Oval Invincibles: Dane van Niekerk, Sam Billings
Southern Brave: Anya Shrubsole, James Vince
Trent Rockets: TBC
Welsh Fire: Tammy Beaumont, Tom Abell