‘It’s a lot of fun’ – Knight still enjoying captaining England

Heather Knight believes she still has a “lot to offer” as England captain after nearly eight years in the post.

Knight succeeded Charlotte Edwards, who had a decade-long stint in the position, in June 2016 and her tenure has coincided with some ground-breaking moments for women’s cricket, both domestically and worldwide.

England head coach Jon Lewis recently praised Knight’s longevity and commitment as “second to none” after she withdrew from the Women’s Premier League to play a full part in the tour of New Zealand.

While great rival Meg Lanning stepped down as Australia captain and retired from international cricket late last year, Knight insisted she still gets a kick out of leading England and has much more to give.

Heather Knight, pictured, succeeded Charlotte Edwards as England captain nearly eight years ago (Adam Davy/PA)
Heather Knight, pictured, succeeded Charlotte Edwards as England captain nearly eight years ago (Adam Davy/PA)

“It’s a lot of fun and I’m still enjoying doing it,” the 33-year-old told the PA news agency.

“As long as I’m moving things and myself forward and still enjoying it, it’s something I want to continue to do.

“When I think it’s eight years, it seems like a hell of a long time but it’s gone very fast, that’s for sure, and I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer the team to keep moving things forward.

“I enjoy that responsibility of trying to change. I’ve had to adapt my leadership as the years have gone and I quite enjoy doing that.

“There’s always a big tournament around the corner these days, there’s one every year so there’s always something to work towards and try and have a chance of being successful in.”

Knight oversaw England’s seminal World Cup triumph in 2017, when they beat India in the Lord’s final, but global trophies have since been out of their reach, hoovered up by the better-resourced Australia juggernaut.

England won both white-ball series against their fierce rivals in the multi-format Ashes last year but Knight reckons Australia are still the side to beat ahead of this year’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

“Teams are starting to challenge them which is a really healthy place to be,” Knight said.

“But Australia are still a very good team and ultimately they’re still the target everyone is looking to knock down.”

England take on New Zealand in Dunedin in the first of five T20s in the early hours of Tuesday morning as they begin building towards the next global event, scheduled to be held in September and October.

Knight led England to glory in the 2017 World Cup (John Walton/PA)Knight led England to glory in the 2017 World Cup (John Walton/PA)
Knight led England to glory in the 2017 World Cup (John Walton/PA)

They will be without Nat Sciver-Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Alice Capsey and Danni Wyatt for the first three T20s – a prearranged agreement which allowed the quartet to focus on their WPL commitments.

But that allows those on the fringes a chance to make their mark, with Tammy Beaumont set for her 100th T20 appearance, more than two years after her 99th cap. The 33-year-old was jettisoned ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games but she has elbowed her way back in following some sparkling knocks in 2023.

“The door’s not shut to anyone,” Knight added. “There is that opportunity for players coming in and it will be really interesting to see how they do.

“Tammy’s not been around the T20 stuff for a long time, she’s gone away and worked on her game a lot and done things a little bit differently. She massively deserves that opportunity to come back in and open the batting in T20 cricket.

“Everyone knows Tammy is a gritty cricketer, a bit of a fighter and loves a challenge so I’m super excited how she does with this opportunity she’s got.”

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