Series against West Indies a starting point building towards 2022, says Anya Shrubsole

Women's CricZone Staff
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Series against West Indies a starting point building towards 2022, says Anya Shrubsole

Anya Shrubsole. © ICC

England seamer Anya Shrubsole has admitted that the five-match T20I series against West Indies on Monday (September 21) is going to be starting point building towards 2022 – the year that is scheduled to have three major women’s events. The year 2022 was already having the T20 World Cup in South Africa and cricket’s return at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The 2021 50-over World Cup which was initially scheduled to happen in New Zealand but was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re trying to see this series against the West Indies as a starting point building towards 2022, we’re not quite sure when the next cricket’s going to be and that’s just the nature of it,” Shrubsole was quoted as saying to Sky Sports.

“What it sets up is an amazing 2022 where we’re going to have three major global tournaments. That’s a year that a lot of people are really looking forward to,” she added. England haven’t played international cricket since March and so as West Indies. The series marks the resumption of top-flight action for the first time in almost six months.

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“It’s a massive carrot, I think anyone who says that it isn’t is probably lying. To have those three tournaments - and we’re due to have an Ashes around then as well – there’s just not going to be a year like that ever again,” said the veteran of 150 international games.

“We’ve got a whole year’s worth of international cricket before that but that year is just going to be phenomenal for women’s cricket. The game is in a really healthy place but that year could just take it up to another level,” she stated.

The unexpected lockdown has given all the cricketers a welcome break which they were craving for. Similarly for Shrubsole, the break benefitted her after undergoing foot surgery. “I probably came out of that World Cup feeling like I wanted a bit of a break. I’ve had surgery on my foot and it actually allowed me a really good period of time to recover from that,” said the 28-year-old.

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“In a funny kind of way, the break has not been the worst thing for me and I think initially the girls quite liked the break but we’re now ready to go. A lot of us thought there was a really high chance that this wasn’t going to happen. To be pretty close to pulling on an England shirt is really exciting and I just can’t wait to get going.”

She also heaped high praise on West Indies for coming down and playing the series. “A huge amount of credit must go to the West Indies, they’ve done a huge amount this summer to allow us to get some cricket on by sending touring teams over. There’s been so much work that’s gone on and we massively appreciate it,” concluded England’s all-time leading T20 wicket-taker.