The Hundred: David Payne looks to turn around Welsh Fire's fortunes
Payne in action for Gloucestershire [Twitter]
Welsh Fire's left-arm fast bowler David Payne is looking forward to the upcoming season of The Hundred as he is determined to turn things around for his side this year.
With two unsuccessful campaigns in a row, the Welsh Fire have struggled to make any impact in The Hundred, failing to win a single match in the last season and finishing at the bottom of the points table.
They had a lacklustre debut season in The Hundred, finishing second to last in the points table. Following two disappointing seasons, the team has finally made some notable changes to its squad.
Welsh Fire has decided to retain six players out of the maximum 10 allowed. England's Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope, as well as batter Joe Clarke, are returning to the team. Among fast bowlers, they have retained George Scrimshaw, Jake Ball, and David Payne.
Here's what Payne said:
"I'm not going to lie, it wasn't a straight-forward decision. The last two years haven't been easy. Even though it's been a couple of bad years, it creates an opportunity to turn it around. I think that's what excites me about retaining.
"I want to show that it's just been a couple of bad years and it can actually be a lot better. That was the main reason I wanted to stay."
In another significant development, Welsh Fire have brought in Australia batter Michael Hussey as head coach of the men's Welsh Fire team to replace Gary Kirsten.
Hussey brings a wealth of coaching experience to the team, having served as England's assistant coach in the recent T20 World Cup and as a coach for Australia, Sydney Thunder, and Chennai Super Kings in franchise tournaments.
Payne, expressing excitement on working with Hussey stated:
"His cricket credentials obviously speak for itself. You bring a guy like that in, it's always going to be exciting. He's recently worked with the England boys at the T20 World Cup and from what I've heard, they got on really well with him."
"It's going to be intriguing to see what he brings as a head coach, what energy he brings and what ideas he has. I'm just really looking forward to working with him."