Monday, October 3, 2022

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England developments excite Cross as new World Cup cycle begins

Kate Cross is excited about competing in a new England team as she begins her journey to the World Cup against India.

England open their new cycle of ICC Women’s Championships on Sunday with the first of three Royal London Series one-day internationals, with 2025 World Cup qualifying points on the line.

Youngsters Alice Capsey, 18, and Freya Kemp, 17, received their first ODI call-ups, while the team will miss injured regular captain Heather Knight alongside veteran Nat Sciver, who earlier announced this month that she was taking a mental health break. Game.

“It’s really exciting that we have competition for spots now,” Cross said. “If you looked at this team a few years ago and it didn’t have Nat and Katherine (Brunt) I think a lot of people would have freaked out, but it’s so fantastic that young people are coming in and they’re enjoying their opportunities.

“We are obviously in a new cycle for ODI cricket now, we have this 2025 World Cup in sight and how we are going to prepare for it, so the fact that we have so many people putting their hands up for selection, I think it’s fantastic and it gets us all moving.

Bowler Cross, 30, admits she hasn’t played as much for her country – just three games – as she would have hoped this summer, with dressmakers Issy Wong and Lauren Bell rapidly rising through the English ranks and vying for the selection.

“The only thing I can do is my past record in ODI cricket,” she said. “And I like to think that would be very helpful to me.

“Nobody can rest easy when you have people like Issy Wong or Lauren Bell behind you. I think it’s really good and the selection stays juicy because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

The final of the three-match series will take place at Lord’s on a historic weekend which will also see the Home of Cricket host their first Women’s National Final with the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy the following day.

The September 24 clash will also be the first time the venue has hosted an England women’s international game since their 2017 World Cup win over India.

Cross relishes the rematch – though she also sees it as another amusing illustration of her side’s generational divide, one that ultimately serves as a reminder of the proliferation of opportunities in women’s football over the past half-decade.

“There are some really special memories (at Lord’s),” she said. “But it’s funny because a lot of young girls have played Lord’s in the Hundred and it’s nothing too big for them.

“While some of the older girls didn’t get many opportunities to play there, I only played one game there and that was for MCC.

“It always feels like a special occasion to be at Lord’s, and we have some exciting things planned for next summer. It’s something we are delighted to do, and hopefully it will be a great signing for what has been an incredible summer for women’s cricket.”

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