Ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup starting in South Africa, England captain Heather Knight expressed that there is eagerness for success in her side as they want to win the trophy once again and believes that team is capable of beating anyone on their day in the competition.
England’s campaign in the Women’s T20 World Cup begins against 2016 champions West Indies on February 11 in Paarl as part of Group B that includes matches against India, Pakistan and Ireland.
“It’s amazing to be here in South Africa ready to test ourselves in another global tournament. We have come close on a few occasions since 2017 and it would be really special to go one step further this time around. We haven’t lifted the trophy since 2009 and we’d quite like to put that right. We felt in a great place in 2020 before the rain intervened at Sydney but in many ways that feels like a lifetime ago, with COVID-19 entering the mix soon after.”
“We know on our day that we can be a match for anyone, our job now is to ensure we have our day as regularly as possible — to keep being aggressive, taking the game forward and backing our strengths,” wrote Heather in her column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday.
The right-handed batter also praised England’s depth in the format and believed that the experience gained by younger players in the team last summer was a good sign for the team’s future.
“We enjoyed the West Indies tour and it’s been great to see so many players putting up their hands, vying for selection and taking on-board how we want to play our cricket. Last summer we had a few players out, myself included, and while that was tough from a performance point of view it was quite valuable in terms of exposing some of our younger players and giving them the opportunity to showcase their skill on the big stage,” she said.
“That’s led to a group of younger players coming to the fore and that’s an exciting sign for our future. The likes of Charlie Dean, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey and Maia Bouchier have their first shot at an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which we know they’ll relish,” she added.
The T20 World Cup in South Africa is also England’s first major tournament under the coaching of Jon Lewis and Heather thinks he has provided clarity on the side’s approach to the shortest format of the game.
“Since we last took part in an ICC tournament Jon Lewis has come into our group as head coach and with it he’s brought additional clarity about how we want to play our cricket. We want to be aggressive, we want to choose the positive option when the game’s in the balance and we want to entertain and inspire,” Knight said.
He was involved with both the England Men’s white-ball team under Eoin Morgan and, more recently, the England Men’s Test team under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, and he’s seen first-hand the positivity that can be created when you’re able to successfully shift a team’s mindset and embrace walking towards the danger. That’s our aim,” she added.