Hannah Jones eager to get going with London Cup fixture on July 22

Hannah Jones eager to get going with London Cup fixture on July 22

Hannah Jones looks on during a Women's County Championship. © Getty Images

The London Cup is all set to be played on Wednesday (July 22) between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be played without spectators. Nonetheless, Surrey skipper Hannah Jones can’t wait to take the field for a cricket match.

“We can’t wait to get out there and we’re so happy the fixture is at The Kia Oval,” said Jones.

“Given what’s gone on this summer, it would have been easy to arrange the fixture at a club ground. Speaking to some of the younger players like Claudie , it’ll be their first match at The Kia Oval which is special. We’ll do what we can to get Surrey off to a positive start on the field.”

The hosts will be without Sophia Dunkley, Natalie Sciver and Bryony Smith but Jones thinks the side has cover for the trio and are well prepared.

“We’ve prepared as well as we possibly could have and we’re confident we’re doing everything right in the build up,” she said.

“It’s a shame we may not have those England players with us but it’s not a surprise to us and we’re ready to go. We haven’t paid much attention to Middlesex, other than seeing that they can run five kilometres pretty quickly! Focusing on ourselves is the way we give ourselves the best chance.”

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Surrey, Middlesex, Essex and Kent were involved in running challenges over the past few weeks while maintaining social distancing. Surrey also had weekly strength and conditioning sessions with coach Joel Buckingham, physio Ben Austen with psychologist Julie Blackwood and head coach Tom Lister also chipping in regularly.

The squad is yet to train together as a team, though group training sessions have been taking place in recent weeks.

“When we’ve met for training, I’ve really tried to take a lead on making sure everyone is settled and comfortable,” said Jones. “It’s been a really horrible time, some players have lost relatives and others have lost their jobs so just saying ‘Are you alright? Right, let’s get on with cricket’ isn’t enough.”

“It’s hard to keep that group buzz during things like fielding drills because we’re not all together but I know it’s going to be a great moment when we do finally get together in our big group on Wednesday.”

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Apart from the London Cup, nothing much about the domestic season is yet known. There are discussions taking place about starting women’s domestic cricket sometime in August or September. The new domestic structure coupled with ‘The Hundred’ was to be in place from this season but the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the new tournament had to be pushed back by a year.

“From my personal point of view, I love captaining these girls and leading Surrey so I’d like there to be as much county cricket as possible in the future,” said Jones being hopeful of getting some regular cricketing time soon.

“I know that Surrey are very committed to maintaining the county side so hopefully we can keep that representation up.”