Birmingham Phoenix have made one of the biggest signings to date in the first season of The Hundred by securing Australia all-rounder and ICC women’s player of the decade Ellyse Perry.

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Currently ranked as the number three all-rounder in the ICC T20 International (T20I) world rankings, Perry is one of the most celebrated cricketers in the global game having won the ICC women’s T20 World Cup five times and the ICC women’s Cricket World Cup once.

Ellyse Perry said: “I’m really excited by the opportunity to join Birmingham Phoenix for The Hundred. I’ve got a huge affinity with Ben Sawyer, having worked closely together in Australia, so it’s great to have him appointed as our Head Coach. We’ve also got so many talented players in the squad who I have played with and against around the world.

“With 100 balls per side it’s going to be really exciting to play in, and I’m looking forward to helping introduce a new generation to cricket and hopefully inspiring them to pick up a bat and ball themselves.”

Thirty-year-old Perry has won the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) three times with Sydney Sixers and has been presented with the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and the Belinda Clarke Award for Australia's best women's international cricketer three times.

Perry also boasts the unique feature in the sporting world of also representing Australia, and scoring a goal against Sweden, in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

“From the moment that I was appointed by Birmingham Phoenix, one of the main things on my mind was how to sign Ellyse,” said Ben Sawyer, Head Coach of Birmingham Phoenix Women.

“I have been fortunate to work closely with Ellyse at Sydney Sixers and I have seen how hard she has worked in establishing and developing the team over the last six years. To have her involved have her as a player in another new team, in Birmingham Phoenix, is invaluable and I think she’ll be a huge asset for us.”

Perry’s signing means that Birmingham Phoenix are the first team to complete their women’s squad for The Hundred in 2021. She joins fellow Australia all-rounder and ICC women’s T20 World Cup winner Ashleigh Gardner in the squad, with Birmingham Phoenix captained by New Zealander and number one ranked ICC T20I all-rounder Sophie Devine.

Experienced Birmingham-born England wicket-keeper/bat Amy Jones, bowler Kirstie Gordon and all-rounder Georgia Elwiss complete the international line-up. However, multiple trophy winners bolster the Phoenix squad, including Marie Kelly and Issy Wong who were part of the Birmingham Bears squad, which won the Vitality County T20 title in 2019.

“Knowing that we’ve got our 15 players in place early allows us to make a head start on our team preparations for The Hundred,” added Sawyer. “We’re a team with a lot of leaders, with a lot of experience at the highest level and some exceptionally talented players.”

With all Birmingham Phoenix fixtures featuring both men’s and women’s games on the same day, the new Birmingham team start The Hundred at home at Edgbaston to London Spirit on Friday 23 July; the women’s team getting underway at 3pm and the men’s team at 6.30pm.

The entire competition, including all women’s and men’s games will be broadcast live on Sky. The Hundred will also be covered extensively across the BBC, including live television coverage of 10 men’s games and multiple live women’s matches, including the women’s opening game and The Hundred Final.

The teams finishing second and third in the league stage will meet each other at the Kia Oval in The Hundred Eliminator on Friday 20 August to compete for a place in The Hundred Final against the league winners. Both the men’s and women’s finals will take place the following day on 21 August at Lord’s.

Tickets for The Hundred will go on sale to those signed up at through a priority window on 7 April, with general sale beginning on 21 April. Affordability for families has been prioritised with tickets for U16s at £5 and adult tickets starting at £10 for two games (women’s and men’s match) while kids U5 go free. Refund policies will be in place if matches are impacted by Covid.