Katherine Brunt is relishing a rare opportunity to play one of women’s cricket’s weaker teams as she looks to build towards next year’s Twenty20 World Cup and improve her standing in the all-time list of wicket-takers.
The 34-year-old fast bowler from Dodworth spent November in Australia before joining up with the England team to play three One Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan in Malaysia, starting from Monday. Brunt said: “Pakistan are not one of the better teams but it will be really difficult conditions. I have been in the right country to prepare for it. Hopefully we can get some good results to prepare for the World Cup.”
Brunt is currently sixth in the all-time list of wicket-takers in women’s ODIs, four shy of the top three but 77 behind top spot which is occupied by India’s Jhulan Goswami who has played 62 more games than the Barnsley woman. In all formats, Brunt has taken 263 wickets in 204 England games – the most by an England player.
“If you added up all the matches I have been injured for or held back for because the coaches were worried I would get injured, I am sure I would be above any bowler in terms of wickets. I had a four-year spell when I only played New Zealand and Australia. I have never had the chance to get eight-wicket hauls against Ireland or Sri Lanka or Pakistan, until this year. “I am not sure how much higher I will get up the list.
“The best spinners are from the subcontinent and have really long careers playing in their own condition whereas I am constantly playing in unfavourable conditions as a fast bowler. “But I can’t be too disappointed with being England’s most successful bowler. It’s also not only about wickets, I have won five Ashes series and three World Cups.”
Brunt has been in Australia throughout November for the Women’s Big Bash, which is the biggest female domestic Twenty20 competition in the world. But she has not been playing, instead supporting her friends and England team-mates while taking on warm weather training. She said: “The old England coach Mark Robinson didn’t want me to play in the BBL because he was worried I would get injured for the World Cup. That decision was made a year ago and he’s since left the England role but, by then, the BBL teams had already been picked and it was too late for me to get a team. It’s frustrating because I was perfectly fit and healthy but I couldn’t play.”
England’s first game will be an ODI on Monday followed by another on Thursday and the last of the three on Saturday, December 14. The three Twenty20s will be on December 17, 19 and 20. The Twenty20 World Cup is in Australia in February and March.
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Brunt hopes series in Malaysia prepares her for World T20 puts her higher on list
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