Right after the conclusion of The Hundred, England skipper Heather Knight is all set for the upcoming series against New Zealand which includes three T20s and five ODIs, all to be played at smaller county grounds of Chelmsford, Canterbury, Derby, Bristol, Hove, Leicester, Worcester and Taunton.
Before going into another long-drawn format, she took to an interview and talked about The Hundred, its inclusion into women’s cricket and the upcoming series against the Kiwis. England skipper Heather Knight believes determination for the impending T20Is against New Zealand had highlighted the vastest pool of players being talked about since she was designated in 2016.
Last year, the England Cricket Board gave out its first bunch of full-time domestic contracts, with 41 players brought into the territorial set-up as professionals, close by those centrally shrunk by England. That framework has supported an expanded playing program, including the 50-over Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and 20-over Charlotte Edwards Cup, notwithstanding the Hundred for which players were joined independently.
The Hundred, which finished up at Lord’s a little more than seven days prior, saw record-breaking attendances for women’s cricket in the UK and added to the maiden call-ups for Maia Bouchier and Charlie Dean – albeit both will miss Wednesday’s opening T20I in the wake of being considered close contacts of a Covid-19 case – just as Emma Lamb, who was added to the side as cover.
One more star of the all-new format of 100-ball competition was Alice Capsey, the 17-year-old whose forceful batting and watchful off-breaks helped Oval Invincibles lift the prize. Capsey got the attention of Invinciblescoach, Jonathan Batty, during last year’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy – due to her age he needed to ask her mother’s permission prior to offering a place at the Hundred’s dug-out and she is now being promoted as a forthcoming England international, but that booting for her A Levels might outweigh everything else for the moment.
“Lots of people have talked about Alice, obviously she had an outstanding Hundred,” Knight said and went on to add, “She’s been someone that’s been talked about a lot, as have a number of players, there’s been a lot of players that have stood up and put in performances and that’s been so good in terms of selection. It was probably the widest pool of players I think we’ve talked about since I’ve been captain, that’s for sure, and that’s a great things for the team. Alice is definitely one we’ve got on our radar, but we’ve gone with a few different players that we want to have a look at and want to see how they react to being around the group.”
Having seen the momentum of the last Women’s World Cup that England significantly succeeded at Lord’s in 2017 scorned, Knight has encouraged the England and Wales Cricket Board to furrow a comparable marketing plan to the Hundred into the international cricket so that something like two matches a summer are played with significant fixtures allowed to be aired on TV, freely.
“To be honest 2017 did feel like a bit of a one-off, unfortunately,” said Heather Knight. “It was an amazing day but the momentum wasn’t really capitalized on. I think with the Hundred and the success it’s had it’s about trying to transfer those fans to coming more regularly. That’s one thing with women’s sports in general, you have these one-off events that are really well supported but it’s just making sure you transfer those fans to coming to support the sport all-year round,” she noted.
She further moved on to dotingly say, “I think the success the women’s game had in the Hundred, a lot can be taken into the international game. I’d love to see the same marketing budget for a T20 on a Friday night at some of the big grounds – Lord’s, Old Trafford or wherever it might be – and trying to fill those grounds for us maybe twice a year live on BBC. That would be awesome. So hopefully the momentum the Hundred has given us will be transferred to more people at our games and more people interested in cricket.”
Knight said that giving domestic cricketers “the chance to prepare however much as the England players” would just expand contest for spots in the coming seasons, and highlighted the capacity to follow exhibitions significantly more intently than previously. She pointed, “The pool of players that we’re talking about now in selection is much bigger. It’s just so great that we can watch every game and see these players in action just at the click of a button, through the streaming service and obviously having stuff on telly as well.”
Like the men, Knight additionally conceded her team’s visit to Pakistan in October is in question given the continuous unrest in adjoining Afghanistan. There are additional worries over the Ashes, which starts in January before the World Cup in New Zealand. “There is a lot going on at the moment,” she said and further emphasized, “Discussions about both trips are ongoing. Pakistan is very much an evolving situation. I know the ECB is monitoring it very closely and the players’ safety, both us and the men’s, is at the forefront of their minds. We have to wait a bit longer to see what evolves.”
“We’re also waiting on the men a little bit to see what happens in the Ashes. They leave for Australia a lot earlier than we do, we head there in early January and then straight to the World Cup. It’s going to be a very long trip for us, around three-and-a-half months altogether. So obviously concerns about families and partners being able to come are very much there but the ECB have been brilliant in communicating with us and they’re trying to get the best solution for players and to get cricket on.An Ashes and a World Cup doesn’t come around very often so we’re desperate to go,” she intentionally embarked upon the topsy-turvy situation.
Knight was likewise in no question about the effect of the Hundred on the ladies’ down, especially how the stamped expansion in attendances – ECB figures recorded 267,000 spectators at women’s fixtures across the competition – would assist players with figuring out how to manage more noteworthy scrutiny as well as the pressing factor.
She said amazingly and with a greater delight, “What a tournament it was. The crowds that we had, the support that we had, and the cricket that was on show. It’s going to be a huge thing, I think, for women’s cricket, but I don’t think we’re necessarily going to see the impact straight away in terms of the series coming up. I think the biggest impact will for us will be being able to play under that sort of pressure, and [in front of] crowds consistently, it’s is going to be huge for us how we deal with that as players. The players that really embrace it and grow, when they are under that pressure, is going to be a big learning I think.”
On the upcoming series against New Zealand, she said, “Those ODIs are going to be a huge focus for us with the World Cup.” Heather Knight added: “They’ve got some real match-winners. Suzie Bates is back after injury, Sophie Devine had quite a dry series against us in New Zealand last winter so I’m sure she’ll be determined to replicate the form she has shown in big tournaments like the Big Bash against us. They’ve got some really dangerous players so they’re not a side to be taken lightly.”
Add to this, she went on to deliver the probabilities as, “It might give us the chance to have a little look at a few players, and the schedule for the ODIs is pretty mad to be honest; we’ve got five games in I think, 10 or 11 days so I’m sure we’re going to have to look at potentially rotating a few players and looking after players. It’s been a long old summer with various bubbles, etc, so we’re going to have to make sure we look after players physically and mentally. But anytime you play for England, anytime you preparing for a series you’re looking to give your best and try and put together the best preparations to try and win those games.”
The Hundred was likewise a chance for the people who have as of now played for England to help the selectors to remember their capacities – and none did as such more adequately than TashFarrant, the Invincibles left-armer who completed as the competition’s driving wicket-taker and dazzled with her change-ups in the death-overs.”Having that squad depth and different players performing well – you saw TashFarrant, how well she did in the Hundred, the performances she put in, and she was on the bench for the whole of the India series,” Heather Knight said.
“So people putting in those sort of performances and making it really, really tricky for us to leave them out is what we want,” she concluded and emphasized that Women’s cricket was raised to another level of gratitude to the Hundred, with double-headers close by men’s games at significant grounds drawing in a completely new crowd.