Anya Shrubsole raring to repeat World Cup final heroics for England

Anya Shrubsole is ready to reproduce her ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup final heroics from 2017 as England prepare for the defense of their crown.

The right-arm seamer took six for 46, the best-ever figures in a World Cup final, to earn England a dramatic nine-run victory over India in front of a sold-out Lord’s last time out.

The quest to retain their trophy starts on Saturday (1am GMT) against familiar foes Australia in Hamilton and despite not taking more than a three-fer since that final, Shrubsole is prepared to do it again.

She said: “I would obviously hope [I can replicate it]. Otherwise, I’m not sure there is a huge amount of point in me being here If I didn’t think I was capable of taking wickets.

“But I think that there is absolutely zero bearing on what happens here. They’re amazing memories and an amazing day to be apart of but this is five years later on and a fresh World Cup in a different country.

“I’m just really excited to get out there and get going.”

England v Australia has often produced dramatic matches in World Cup settings – the last time they met in this tournament, England won by just three runs.

Shrubsole was involved on that day in Leicester in 2017 and is expecting, but not hoping for, a similar outcome this time.

“If both teams play well, I think they’re two relatively even-matched teams and the games have seemingly gone down to the wire,” the two-time World Cup winner said.

“The nature of World Cups is they’re one-off games and quite often they get quite close. For my own nerves, hopefully, it’s not super close out there tomorrow, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was.”

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The 31-year-old confirmed that England would take the knee as a stance against all forms of discrimination.

In doing so, they will join hosts New Zealand and the West Indies who took the knee before the opener in Tauranga.

“It’s something we feel really strongly about,” Shrubsole said. “Racism and any form of segregation, anything like that, isn’t welcome in sport.

“We obviously have had a moment of unity in the Ashes in Australia and it’s something we’ve done back in England in all our home series.

“It’s something we will be doing and we feel really strongly as a group that as sportspeople on the global stage, we have a real platform to show that any kind of prejudice is not welcome in our game.”

While England came through their warm-up matches against Bangladesh and South Africa unbeaten, they will be wary of Australian dynamo Alyssa Healy, who starred the last time Australia played a final with 75 from 39 balls in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 showpiece.

Australia captain Meg Lanning sent out a warning and said: “She looks good, the other day in the practice game against New Zealand she was on the front foot immediately, punishing any width and bad balls.

“Alyssa has shown over her career that in big games, she steps up and World Cups are tournaments that she plays extremely well in, so I expect the same from her throughout.

“She’s a big-game player and she’s very important to us.”

© ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2022

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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