Cricket: England star Anya Shrubsole excited to be part of home challenge at Women's World Cup
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 May 2017
© Sportsbeat/Roberto Payne
Right-arm seamer hopes to bowl opponents over this summer
With exactly a month to go until the start of the ICC Women’s World Cup, England vice-captain Anya Shrubsole insists home advantage can play its part in helping the host nation clinch victory at Lord’s this summer.
Kicking off on June 24, the ICC Women’s World Cup will welcome the eight best teams from around the globe, with games taking place in Taunton, Bristol, Leicester and Derby before a showcase final at Lord’s on July 23.
Shrubsole, 25, was a member of the England squad who lifted the trophy in Sydney in 2009, but will be joined in this year’s team by former Hall Mead pupil Beth Langston.
With reigning champions Australia coming into the tournament in red-hot form, right-arm seamer Shrubsole is only too aware that her England side are not the favourites this time around.
But that, she insists, will stand them in good stead as they look to thrill the bumper home crowds, with confidence brimming that they can cause an upset.
“I’m hugely excited to get going at the World Cup. World Cups don’t come around that often so to be part of it is absolutely amazing,” said Shrubsole.
“To have one on home soil makes it that extra bit special, so the girls are ready and raring to go, and I think this next month is going to fly by.
“Confidence in the camp is really good, I think we’ve had a really good 12 months and we’ve played some really good cricket.
“We’re probably not the favourites, there are a couple of teams who are the favourites for this tournament, but we know that if we play some good cricket, we’ll have a really good chance of winning.
“There are a decent number of us in the England squad who had success in 2009, who know what that feels like and want to replicate that, especially on home soil with our fans behind us.
“I don’t think I could put into words what it would mean to us to win on home soil. It’s one of those things that you dream about.
“Despite what anyone says, I think everyone will have had a fleeting thought to what it would be like to be at Lord’s and lift the trophy.”
Shrubsole was speaking at a TeamUp event in London’s Regent’s Park, engaging with pupils from The John Warner School in a hybrid combination of cricket, hockey and netball.
TeamUp is an three-year campaign launched by the ECB, England Hockey and England Netball to maximise the legacy of the sport’s World Cups – all taking place on home soil between 2017-2019 – and Shrubsole was quick to emphasise the need to inspire more women and girls to be active.
“I think it’s really important that women’s sports are grouping together to get more women and girls involved,” she said.
“The sports can work really well together to really encourage women and girls to take up sport, and just to be active in general.
“I don’t think it matters what sport it is in, whether that is cricket, hockey or netball, all that matters is that you are getting girls out, playing sport and enjoying it.
“Who knows, from that you might really inspire some to take it up seriously, and you might find your next England cricketer, netballer or hockey player.
“I think it will be really powerful for these young girls to see us in action at the World Cups, to encourage them to come and watch and see women performing at the top level. That will be really inspiring for them.”
• The ICC Champions Trophy (1-18 June) and ICC Women’s World Cup (24 June – 23 July) will both see the best eight ODI teams in the world compete for glory in England & Wales this summer. Tickets available at icc-cricket.com/tickets.