England Women had won the both ODI and T20I leg of the Multi-format tournament of the Ashes 2023 recently on their home ground.
Former England Captain Nasser Hussain was impressed with England’s Women tied the match in the recent Ashes Series against Australia, and says they must continue to evolve if they want to reach newer heights and close the gaps with the Women’s Cricket World Cup Champions.
There were many positive signs for England’s side and Hussain has challenged them to build their performance and continue to improve before the next Ashes series which starts in 2025.
Nasser Hussain on England Women’s Cricket Team
Hussain had talks with host Sanjana Ganesan in the ICC review, and said, “England have got some good young players coming through, although actually in our Ashes series, it was the senior players like Natalie Sciver-Brunt, Kate Cross and Danni Wyatt that absolutely put in performances.”
“You would be a fool to say, ‘Oh, that’s it. Australia are coming back to the pack’. “I don’t think they are doing that. Other nations have to keep playing catch-up cricket with the Australian women’s team as they’re one of the greatest sporting teams of all time.”
Nat Sciver-Brunt was named England’s player of the series on the Ashes. The spinner Sophie Ecclestone had scalped 10 wickets during the one-off Test and proved to be a tough and unpredictable bowler for the opponent batters.
Nat Sciver-Brunt was also been nominated for the ICC Player of the Month. The pair dominate the current MRF tires ICC women’s Player Rankings, with Sciver-Brunt holding the spot for both ODI batters and all-rounders and Ecclestone becomes the No.1 bowler in ODI and T20I cricket.
“Nat Sciver-Brunt is just a high-class player, a high-class individual and, in big moments, even in losing big moments against Australia at the 50-over World Cup and 20-over World Cup in the final, she is smashing it everywhere,” Hussain said.
“She never knows when to give up. She has long levers. She has great awareness of the field and where to hit some of her slog sweeps over wide mid-wicket. A great all-rounder and an outstanding cricketer.
“And Sophie Ecclestone has been there for England…she’s only still young.
“She is very accurate. Never bowls bad deliveries. In red-ball cricket, she can go past the outside edge. In white-ball cricket, often people play for the turn. But a little bit like Rashid Khan or something, it’s actually stump-to-stump LBW and bowled in white-ball cricket.
She brings in the stumps in white-ball cricket and she can bat as well and she is very good in the field.
“She took some good catches, some very fine catches in that Ashes series. So she’s developing a little bit like Nat Sciver-Brunt into a genuine all-rounder.”
Hussain thinks Alice Capsey, Sophia Dunkley, and Lauren Filer will be the next generation who could help England to raise and believes their exposure in domestic competitions will accelerate the process.
“We’ve got The Hundred…here in England and it’s going to be so important for their growth and their development to keep improving,” Hussain noted.
“Hopefully some of them, hopefully, the WPL (Women’s Premier League in India) will keep picking up some young English players to play in different conditions as well.
“I think English women’s cricket is in a very healthy place because of The Hundred. Because they’re getting that exposure to playing against some of the best players in the world. (India pair) Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur are over (in England) to play.
“When you’re playing against the best all the time, you learn from them and you’re in the same dressing room as them, that’s what’s really good about these franchise tournaments, to get in the same dressing room and see how they operate and practice.
I think that’d be the great benefit of franchise tournaments for some of our young women cricketers.”