Heather Knight excited to kick off England’s busy summer with a Test match

Heather Knight addresses the media. © Getty Images

With England set to kick off their international summer in a couple of weeks with a multi-format series against India, skipper Heather Knight said she is very excited to begin with a Test match in Bristol on June 16.

“I love playing red-ball cricket; it’s a real event. Because we play so little, you’re almost learning as you go when you’re playing a Test match,” Knight told reporters on Tuesday (June 2).

Having made her international debut in March 2010, Knight has played only seven Tests so far. While admitted that she was disappointed not to play more red-ball cricket, the 30-year-old said she understood that the limited-overs formats were the best way to grow the game.

“I think in terms of pushing the women’s game forward around the world, I think ODI cricket and T20 cricket is the way to go. There is a little bit of difference in the professionalism around the world, particularly with Test cricket.”

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“I would love to see a series like we’re playing against India: one Test match as part of a tour. I think that could be a possibility going forward; I think red-ball tests you so much more as a player. It tests your skill, your ability to repeat, your ability to have a really strong technique as a batter. It ups the standard in that regard. [But] I also get the reasons why we don’t play.”

Knight, who is playing for Western Storm in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy, has shown excellent form, scoring 91 and 59 in the opening two rounds of the competition.

The RHF trophy is the first of three domestic tournaments lined up for England’s women in 2021 – a season that also includes The Hundred and the Regional T20 competition.

The Hundred, which was postponed after the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, will begin on July 21 with a women’s fixture – Manchester Originals v Oval Invincibles. The men’s competition will then get underway the next day.

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Expressing her excitement at playing the new format, Knight, who will captain London Spirit in the tournament, said it was special for the women’s game to be given the same platform as the men.

“(I’m) really excited. I think the fact that we’ve got a full summer of cricket to look forward to is amazing, with what we had last year.”

“The Hundred is going to be a really big part of our summer, which is great. I think the fact that the first game is going to be here and is going to be a women’s game, all eyes are going to be on the match hopefully and people will come out and support.”

“We’re super-excited to get going – it feels like it’s been a long old build-up and it feels like the build-up has been even bigger because it has been delayed a year. We’re looking forward to getting out there and seeing how the competition goes.”

“It is going to be really interesting how the tactics evolve. As a captain it is something completely different and the team that adapts the most and find ways to innovate [will be successful],” she concluded.

Following the series against India, England are set to host New Zealand in September before they head off to Pakistan in October.