New England captain Heather Knight looks forward to ringing the changes
The new captain Heather Knight believes changes in England women’s cricket will help spur them on to greater things after the disappointment of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20.
England slipped to defeat against Australia in the semi-final of the tournament in March from a winning position where they were deemed to have “wilted” by coach Mark Robinson.
The former vice-captain has been named as Charlotte Edwards’ replacement, following the veteran’s decision to end her 10-year reign in May and call time on her career.
Speaking about the appointment, Knight said: “[I found out] a couple of weeks ago and have had to keep it under my hat. I am glad it is finally out. I think it is going to be really challenging, it is hard to put into words the contribution that Charlotte had in the game on and off the pitch and obviously she has been the leader for 10 years so it is going to be a very different dressing room but it is a chance to bring in some change.
“All the girls have been brilliant and supportive. There is a lot of change going on but sometimes change brings out the best in people. The girls are really focused on what is coming and it gives a lot of opportunity to those coming through and I think for them it is about standing up and showing up on the world stage. There are some really exciting young players coming through the academy and now the Super League is starting this summer that will really help with that.”
Heather Knight in action for England (Getty)
Seamer Anya Shrubsole, 24, has been appointed vice-captain and Knight believes they will work well together. She added: “I think Anya was the natural choice, I think she is established in the team and has really proved herself as a bowler. She has an outstanding cricket brain and I think she will be very honest with me and I think we will work together well as a team.”
Robinson, who has been in charge of the team since November, says he has a lot of confidence in his new leader.
Knight, 25, has been vice-captain since August 2014 playing in five Tests, 55 one-day internationals and 33 Twenty20s and Robinson believes there is still a lot of potential in her. He said: “We have an outstanding individual in Heather Knight. She is stubborn, she has her own opinion which is absolutely how it should be, she is comfortable in her own skin, she is comfortable in her own company and they are great qualities to have in a captain.
“She has potential to be an outstanding player in her own right, she is already a very good player now and they were the qualities that hit me straight away when I met Heather, in the same way as when I met Lottie. That is what you want your captains to be, to be able to command a room just with the respect that the players have for them.”