England begin their ICC Women’s World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Throughout the tournament Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole will be keeping us up to date with what is going on in the West Indies.
Here is part one from Anya:
We’re nearly underway here in the West Indies and after a really comprehensive period of preparation we’re desperate to get started.
We’ve had four warm-up games, even though our game against Australia was rained off, and it has provided us with some really good practice.
We had a good game against South Africa before we played against the West Indies on November 1st. It turns out that’s Antiguan Independence Day so the crowd was very loud. It didn’t feel like a warm-up game and that’s absolutely what you want. Deandra Dottin played really well to see her side over the line, but we took a lot from it and hopefully it will stand us in good stead ahead of the group stages.
It’s Sri Lanka for us first up, at St Lucia, and while we’re based there for the whole group stage we haven’t actually arrived there yet. We’re expecting the pitch to play slightly differently to what we’ve seen so far in Antigua and Guyana so the key will be adapting – with both bat and ball – and understanding what a good score is. We know we’ve played some excellent T20 cricket at times over the last 12 months but at the same time we haven’t always been consistent, so we just want to add that to our game now.
When we arrive in St Lucia we’ll soon see all of our parents and partners who are flying out to support us. We often have a large group of support, but I think this might be the biggest yet. We’re expecting about 40 which is just amazing and Danni Wyatt’s dad Steve is printing t-shirts for all of them, so they’ll be easy to pick out.
My family will be coming out but sadly my dog Nico will have to miss this one and keep on top of things at home!
Obviously there’s a few of my Western Storm teammates out here as well, but while we’re here those loyalties will have to be suspended! We played against Stafanie in our warm-up game as well as Smriti and it was good to see them, but we are all here to do a job, which is to win games of cricket for our side.
The tournament comes pretty thick and fast once it gets going, so we’ll want to get off to a good start and pick up some early momentum. It’s Sri Lanka first up for us and then Bangladesh before we face South Africa and the hosts again.
Fingers crossed for us, we’ll be doing everything we can to try and become double world champions.
It won’t be easy, but it is a pretty impressive carrot at the end of it all.
England images courtesy of Getty Images