KATE CROSS: We’re desperate to play positive, aggressive cricket after the Ashes setback and defend our title… and I have unfinished business after missing out on England’s 2017 triumph – now I just want a happy ending to this special World Cup story
- England have prepared well for their ICC Women’s World Cup defense
- They will face tournament favorites Australia in their opener on Saturday
- England are desperate to bounce back from their disappointing loss to the Ashes
It really feels like we are approaching a special tournament. Walking through Christchurch ahead of our trip to Hamilton for our first World Cup match, there were banners advertising the tournament and cricket talk everywhere. We just want our opener against Australia to start now.
I’ve certainly never acted in anything as big as this. I obviously participated in the Ashes series but not in a tournament like this World Cup. Even our warm-up matches against South Africa and Bangladesh brought a different feeling of playing in a series.
We’re desperate to play good cricket and defend our World Cup title because that’s something we just didn’t do in the Ashes. And we feel like we had a good preparation, which was not the case before facing Australia.
England have prepared well for their ICC Women’s World Cup defense in New Zealand
Playing in this World Cup will be particularly special for me because I missed England’s triumph in 2017 and there is a feeling of unfinished business. I remember watching the girls lift the World Cup on that amazing day at Lord’s in 2017 and thinking “next time I want it to be me”. I didn’t want to be sidelined anymore.
It was definitely a difficult time for me. I had played most of the games to qualify for the World Cup and I had not had the icing on the cake. I had really struggled with my mental health the year before and pulled out of a few tours, but then had to watch the final from the family box at Lord’s. It was me, Amy Jones and Tash Farrant and we’re all here on this team, which is good.
So I ticked the first box when I arrived in New Zealand and it would be a great end to the story if things go well here but I try not to worry.
England will face tournament favorites Australia in their opener in Hamilton on Saturday
There are times when I wonder ‘what will it be like if we win this World Cup?’ But then I think “no”. I have to keep my feet on the ground, control myself and remind myself how I got here and why my cricket is going well.
As a team, we have a point to prove after losing the Ashes. We have to show that we are better than we looked in Australia. We just weren’t up to the challenge in the 50+ games that concluded the series and the most disappointing thing is there were times when we put Australia under pressure but we didn’t. couldn’t support them.
When we played Australia I felt we were as good if not a better team than them and it was just the fact that we couldn’t put it all together to get the wins we needed. It just wasn’t us at our best and we, at our best, can beat anyone any day.
England are desperate to bounce back from their disappointing display in the Ashes
But we didn’t go into our shells in the warm-up matches here, which could easily have happened after such a disappointing Ash and we came out of it playing positive and aggressive cricket. This is how we want to continue now.
Something different was playing a fake Super Over at the end of our warm-up against South Africa. It was hidden from us until 10 minutes before the end of the game because captain Heather Knight and coach Lisa Keightley wanted it to be as authentic as possible if it happened in a World Cup game. We won it too, so if there’s a repeat of the men’s World Cup final in 2019, hopefully we’ll be ready!
We have done everything we can to be ready for this tournament and we are ready to go. Now I just want a happy ending to this special World Cup story.