Trevor Griffin, Chloe Tryon: Heather Knight a calming influence, fantastic leader

Trevor Griffin, Chloe Tryon © Getty Images/Women's CricZone

London Spirit begin their campaign in The Hundred on Friday (July 23) with a clash against Birmingham Phoenix at the Edgbaston before going ‘home’ to Lord’s for their next four fixtures. For most of the players, playing at such an iconic venue could be overawing. To ensure they don’t suffer from match day blues, Trevor Griffin, Head Coach of Spirit, did his bit.

“To be able to play at the Home of Cricket is a phenomenal experience. I’ve made it clear that we have to normalise it for our players,” said Griffin.

“So we’ve had a tour of Lord’s. We’ve been able to see the real Ashes – both the men and women – just to understand a little more so that we can make it feel it’s our home and that’s been very important to us.”

“To understand the slope at Lord’s we’ve been able to have some practice games.”

Spirit’s first match at Lord’s will be on Sunday when Oval Invincibles, who won the opening match, come calling.

“I’ve always dreamt of playing at Lord’s and am excited that it is our home ground,” said Chloe Tryon.

Tryon is one of the overseas players in the Spirit squad with India’s Deepti Sharma and West Indies’ Deandra Dottin being the others. They will be lead by England captain Heather Knight, who drew heaps of praise from both Griffin and Tryon.

“I’ve worked with Heather now for five-six years,” said Griffin, who was with Knight at Western Storm in the Women’s Cricket Super League.

“Not only is she a phenomenal player but she is a phenomenal leader too. The way she connects with different players and gets the best out of them. She’s just got that uniqueness about her to be able to connect to her tactical brain in terms of of being able to adjust fields to players she’s come across many international teams.”

“Her message to her known internationals is simple – to go out and play your game and enjoy the experience and back yourself. She has that calming influence as well.”

Tryon has played with Knight for Hobart Hurricanes in the Women’s Big Bash League and was looking forward to share the dressing room again with the England captain.

“(She is a) fantastic leader,” said Tryon. “I was fortunate enough to play with her at Hobart in WBBL. I really got chatting to her very quickly.”

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The Hundred is the newest and the shortest format of the sport and has some rule tweaks in place to make the game exciting for the viewers. However, it also requires a bit of adjustments from the players, in terms of making different strategies and getting used to the fast nature of the game. Tryon, though, felt that the warm-up games she played helped her realise that there is more time that what it seems.

“(The warm-up games were) very important, especially for me, coming from quarantine,” said the South African allrounder.

“I was thankful I got the two games to know how to play the format. You think it’s going very quickly but actually you have a lot of time.”

“Tempo is lot more faster. The intense is high and keeps you on your toes.”

Griffin concurred.

“The four warm-up games have given us the opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the format and the subtle changes in the game,” said Griffin, who coached Sydney Thunder to the WBBL title earlier this year.

“We experimented with one bowler bowling ten balls, experimented with five from one end and five from the other, just making sure everybody is aware of what’s going on, all eyes on the captain. Other than that it’s just bat versus ball.”

Griffin also loved what he saw on the opening day of the tournament, which was the most-viewed women’s game on TV in the UK.

“It’s about putting the game on same footing and the same stage (as men). Some of the shots that Dane van Niekerk play, to see Harmanpreet Kaur the way she played… That is what we want to do – showcase how great our game is,” he concluded.