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“Our Mantra As A Team Is Around Trying To Entertain And Inspire”- Heather Knight

As England gears up for their much-anticipated tour to New Zealand, skipper Heather Knight exudes a blend of confidence and excitement.

While replying to Neha Shetty of Women’s CricInsight at the England Pre-Match Press Conference, Heather Knight shared insights into the team’s expectations, their current form, and the preparations undertaken to adapt to the conditions awaiting them in New Zealand.

When asked about her expectations for the team, both individually and collectively, Knight’s response was a testament to the team’s unwavering commitment to excellence. “To play good cricket!” Knight quipped with a smile.

“Our mantra as a team is around trying to entertain and inspire. that’s at the forefront of what we’re trying to do”, said Heather Knight.

She emphasized the team’s relentless pursuit of development, acknowledging the global landscape where teams are continually elevating their game. “Teams around the world are pushing themselves and getting better. We want to be exactly the same, pushing our games for us as individuals and also as a team. That’s kind of what we’re focusing on trying to put in some really strong performances, individually and as a team,” Knight explained.

Reflecting on the team’s current form and the addition of players from the Women’s Premier League in India, Knight highlighted the positive impact of fresh talent on the squad’s dynamics. “It’s been really lovely, actually,” Heather Knight shared. “We’ve had a really good time together, building up, obviously in Queenstown.”

The infusion of youthful energy and competition for places within the team has fostered a vibrant environment ripe for growth. “We’ve got a few younger girls that have come in that have really impressed and bought that fresh energy and, also sort of pushing the group forward as well, like you, you know, there’s competition for places as a player at the moment. So you know, you’ve got to keep moving the game forward, which is really exciting.”

Knight also noted, “I guess it’s a slightly different vibe, a slightly younger group. But it’s been really fun. And I’m really excited to see what these girls will do. You’ve got to keep moving the game forward, which is really exciting.” With a slightly younger group, the team embraces change, eagerly anticipating the contributions of new and seasoned players alike.

“I’m really excited to see what these girls will do” – Heather Knight

England registered a comfortable win. (Image: Getty)
England registered a comfortable win. (Image: Getty)

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Speaking on the players who will return from the just concluded Women’s Premier League (WPL), the English skipper said, “And obviously, the girls from the WPL will join us, just for that third game. So yeah, it’s been really good actually. And nice to have that freshness, and have a little look at the talent that is just outside the squad. Also, some of the girls that are in have been in and around the squad for a while to give them more of a major role with some of the key players for us, obviously missing so I’m really excited to see how they go tomorrow”.

In preparation for the series, Heather Knight shed light on the team’s efforts to adapt to the conditions in New Zealand. Drawing parallels between English and New Zealand climates, Knight remarked, “New Zealand conditions aren’t too dissimilar. The climate can be quite similar. It’s a little bit cold and miserable out there now. So very similar to sometimes what we get early, early season in England, probably a little bit more bounce in some of the pictures we have played out.”

However, the shift to playing on grass again presented a unique challenge for the team. “But the main thing is just adapting to being on grass again, we actually haven’t been playing cricket back home. We had a series just for Christmas. So it’s been a little bit of time, obviously, since we’ve been out of grass. So it’s just been getting back to the ball on the grass and the bat on grass, getting used to the conditions and getting really clear on our mindset about how I want to play tomorrow,” Knight explained.

Despite the familiarity of the climate, adapting to the nuances of playing on New Zealand pitches remains a key focus for the team as they fine-tune their approach ahead of the series.

As the England women’s cricket team embarks on their tour to New Zealand, Heather Knight’s vision for the squad is clear – a commitment to excellence, a willingness to embrace change, and a relentless pursuit of growth. With a blend of experienced campaigners and emerging talent, the team is poised to make their mark on the international stage, setting the stage for an exhilarating series ahead.

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