I’m really looking forward to the World Cup: Heather Knight
England will get their campaign underway on February 23.
Updated - Feb 14, 2020 2:22 pm
With the expectation and hype in Australia now in full swing, this tournament feels very similar to when England hosted the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017. We’ve been out here for a few weeks now and we’ve seen the World Cup promoted and publicised brilliantly. I’m really looking forward to being involved in a high-profile tournament again.
The publicity and noise is similar to the 2017 tournament but the 50-over World Cup is a long time ago now. We’re a slightly different team, led by a different coach, and we’ve brought in some new exciting young players who have done really well leading into this tournament.
The day after we lost the last T20 World Cup final to Australia in the West Indies in 2018, I sat down with our former Head Coach, Mark Robinson, and our then Assistant Coach Ali Maiden, and we ran through how we wanted to approach this tournament in Australia. When Lisa Keightley took over in January, it was clear her plans aligned with what we had looked at, and it’s been really exciting to start working alongside her.
We’ve been really specific with the players we wanted out here in Australia. We’ve got a lot of different match-winners and proven world-class players, but also a few younger ones too, who so far have taken to international cricket really well. From 1-15, we’ve got a squad that can win games of cricket.
Australia are the favourites, feels Knight
We’ve played a lot of T20 cricket over the last year and spent a lot of time working out what our best team for the format is. We definitely won’t be favourites for the tournament – Australia will obviously wear that tag being at home alongside the record they’ve had in T20 cricket.
For us, it’s all about taking every game at a time – that’s what worked so well for us in 2017. We’ll be focusing on how we want to play our cricket and reaching those semi-finals. If we make those, then we’ll take it from there. I think we learnt a huge amount from the recent Tri-Series. We were put under pressure in some really tight games, which is perfect preparation going into a World Cup.
You want to be challenged and tested and we definitely were. We beat Australia and India, but there’s a lot we want to improve on. We only didn’t qualify for the tri-series final through run-rate. Everyone was beating everyone, which is great to see going into a World Cup and being tested has allowed us to fine-tune our plans a little bit.
Ultimately, we came out here wanting to be ready for the World Cup and that’s exactly what the Tri-Series did for us. Whatever happens, Australia 2020 is going to be a great competition for women’s cricket. I’m hoping to see as many people as possible come out and support the competition – not just fans of the home team, but hopefully, a few coming to watch us in the different venues that we are playing at too.
We’d love to be successful to help the growth of the sport back home, but at the moment, the only thing at the forefront of our minds is putting in good performances. If we play exciting, entertaining cricket like we have done recently, then hopefully even more people will want to come and watch us.