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Gunn backs new girls to shine

Jenny Gunn believes the fresh faces in England Women’s squad will make a name for themselves during the tour of the West Indies.

With bowlers Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt among those missing through injury, 22-year-old Kate Cross and Beth Langston, 21, have been selected for the Twenty20 Tri-Series - against West Indies and New Zealand - and the three-match one-day international rubber versus the hosts.

Gunn, who is closing on 10 years as an England international having made her debut against South Africa in a ODI on February 15 2004, is confident the duo will shine on tour.

“They’ve got something about them, a bit of pace about them, so I look forward to seeing them play for England,” Gunn told ecb.co.uk.

“Kate Cross was in our squad a couple of years ago in Australia; she didn’t play but she was in and around it then. Unfortunately, she got injured.

Jenny Gunn was among the wickets throughout this summer's Ashes series

“Beth Langston was probably near enough playing last summer and got injured as well but they’re fighting fit (this time) and (both) thoroughly deserve their spot.

“They deserve their chance so it’s time to hit the ground running for them and show us what they can do.”

If they do make debuts in the Caribbean, the two twenty-somethings will do so at a later age than Gunn, who was still the best part of three months away from her 18 th birthday when she was introduced to the team.

Now 27 and the veteran in the bowling line-up for the tour, Gunn has advice for her fellow seamers.

She said: “I think they’ll be a bit nervous but once they get in amongst the team everyone will make them feel at home and they’ll settle in.

“I’m just trying to think about my debut. I don’t think I should have even been picked for England, never mind standing there opening the bowling!

“It was 10 years ago and I was really nervous. It was a big moment for me and it will be for them. If they enjoy it they’ll be fine.”

During the victorious Ashes campaign, Gunn established herself as the leading England Women’s wicket-taker in ODIs.

After becoming only the third England player to surpass 100 ODI wickets – following in the footsteps of Clare Taylor and Isa Guha – she reached 104 scalps, usurping Taylor as the record-holder.

Having battled back from an injury, Gunn was proud of the performance she put in.

“It is nice (to have the achievement),” she said. “You always get Katherine Brunt saying 'If I wasn’t injured then I’d have it by now’ but it’s a nice tag to have for a little bit.

“I was quite pleased (with my performance during the Ashes). I haven’t bowled too much over the previous series so to come back from bowling rehab I was really pleased with how I went.

“I worked really hard with our strength and conditioning (coaches) and physios on my back. The hard work paid off.”

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