Anya Shrubsole confident of more Women's Cricket World Cup success
Anya Shrubsole believes England “will thrive” on the pressure of being defending champions at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which gets under way in India today.
The Bath pace bowler is expected to play an important role for 5/6 favourites England, who start their campaign with a pool match against Sri Lanka tomorrow.
And, while not taking anything for granted, Shrubsole is confident she can return home with another winner’s medal to add to the one she claimed as a 17-year-old rookie in 2009.
“People will label us as favourites and we are probably the form side in one-day cricket,” said the former Hayesfield Girls’ School pupil.
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“We are rated number one in the world but every team at this level has a chance, so we will not be taking anyone lightly.
“We thrive on pressure as a group, so we are confident we can handle the expectation. Besides, no-one will put more pressure on us to succeed than ourselves.”
Shrubsole had to mostly settle for a watching brief at the last World Cup in Australia, with a combination of inexperience and injury restricting her to a single appearance against Pakistan.
Fitness problems also limited her international outings for the next three years but she was a regular for England during 2012, helping them to the ICC World Twenty20 final where they lost to Australia.
“Injuries are part and parcel of elite sport but unfortunately I seemed to get a few of them in a row,” said Shrubsole, who plays for Bath CC and Somerset.
“I am fully fit now, though, and have had a decent 12 months so hopefully that will continue.
“I hope to be more involved this time. The 2009 World Cup was only my second international tour and I was not expected to play.
“This time I will hopefully be able to put my case, get a start in the group games and do enough to keep my place.”
Shrubsole did not feature in this week’s warm-up matches, however, which produced mixed results for England.
They were in impressive form on Monday during a 51-run success against South Africa but fell 13 runs short of New Zealand the following day.
As well as tomorrow’s Sri Lanka opener, England will also face the host nation on Sunday and the West Indies on Wednesday.
“India loves cricket, whatever form, so there should be decent crowds and a great atmosphere,” Shrubsole added.
“I have been to India twice on tours in the past and also went over there with one of the other England bowlers last April for a training camp, which was invaluable.
“The more time you can spend in India, the more accustomed you become to the pitches and surroundings.”