West Indies have been unbelievable through all this, says Kate Cross

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Women's CricZone Staff
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At the start of 2020, the England and Wales Cricket Board had announced the summer fixtures that were meant to include the inaugural season of The Hundred, and international series against India and South Africa leading into the Women's World Cup in New Zealand.



However, once COVID-19 reared its ugly head, sport became an afterthought. One by one series were postponed or cancelled and it appeared England's cricket season would suffer the worst. It started with the postponement of The Hundred, before the series against India came into question. After several months of negotiation, a tri-series involving India and South Africa was proposed. But just when it seemed like that would proceed according to plan, India pulled out.



A little while later, the International Cricket Council announced the postponement of the World Cup, and things went haywire. Cricket South Africa declined the invitation to travel to England, and all of a sudden the England women's team had no fixtures.



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While the news of cancelled series was doing the rounds, an extended England squad had been training in a bio-secure 'bubble' in Derby for close to a month. England seamer Kate Cross said the disappointing news hurt the team's morale.



“India not coming over wasn’t the end of the world because we still had South Africa,” Cross told The Cricketer. “But when South Africa pulled out, it kind of felt like we were getting to a point where there wasn’t enough time to organise anything."



“There was a big worry. It was quite a difficult couple of days as a team motivation-wise. You’re in the middle of that bubble in Derbyshire, thinking: ‘Why are we here? What are we training for?’ It was pretty difficult actually.”



https://open.spotify.com/episode/6piGuLzIHGu1bKKHPlbZzm?si=zAUP3emjTdGlGXoLMriF7g



“You could see what hard work it had been and how different Derbyshire looked from when we would normally play there. Once all that was in place, I was thinking: ‘There’s no reason for a team not to come over now.’ I didn’t put into consideration the fact that their government might not allow it. It had all been such positive talk about us playing that I just assumed that we would be,” she said.



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However, with England's summer fixtures seemingly in disarray, the ECB turned to Cricket West Indies who helped them get the men's summer underway. Once again, CWI, answered their call, agreeing to play a five-match T20I series from September 21 to 30.



“The West Indies have just been unbelievable throughout all of this,” Cross said. “I just think it’s testament to them that they are equally as keen to get cricket on as the ECB are."



“I just think that you can’t thank teams like that enough for traveling at a time when it’s so uncertain. I’m not sure how I would feel about traveling abroad at the minute, so you have to take your hat off and be really grateful that they’re going to come over and give us an opportunity.”



For now, the players have been released to compete in the first two rounds of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy. Once the team for the West Indies series is announced, they will return to the bubble in Derby, this time, training with a definite goal in front of them.
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